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DE GRUYTER 

MOUTON 


Anne Boyle David 

DESCRIPTIVE 
GRAMMAR 
OF PASHTO AND 
ITS DIALECTS 



MOUTON-CASL GRAMMAR SERIES 






Anne Boyle David 

Descriptive Grammar of Pashto and its Dialects 



Mouton-CASL Grammar Series 


Editors 

Anne Boyle David 
Claudia M. Brugman 
Thomas J. Conners 
Amalia Gnanadesikan 


Volume 1 



Anne Boyle David 

Descriptive Grammar 

of Pashto 

and its Dialects 


Edited by 

Claudia M. Brugman 


DE GRUYTER 

MOUTON 



Funding/Support: This material is based upon work supported, in whole or in part, with funding 
from the United States Gouvernment. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommenda¬ 
tions expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views 
of the University of Maryland, College Park and/or any agency or entity of the United States 
Gouvernment. Nothing in this report is intended to be and shall not be treated or construed as an 
endorsement or recommendation by the University of Maryland, United States Gouvernment, or 
the authors of the product, process, or service that is the subject of this report. No one may use 
any information contained or based on this report in advertisements or promotional materials 
related to any company product, process, or service or in support of other commercial purposes. 
The Contracting Officer’s Representative for this project is John Walker, Gouvernment Technical 
Director at CASL, (301) 226-8912, jwalker@casl.umd.edu. 


ISBN 978-1-61451-303-2 
e-ISBN 978-1-61451-231-8 

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A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress. 

Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek 

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationaibibiiografie; 
detailed bibliographic data are available in the Internet at http://dnb.dnb.de. 

© 2014 University of Maryland. Aii rights reserved. 

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To my teacher, Eric P. Hamp 



Foreword 


It is remarkable that, in this age of unprecedented global communication and interac¬ 
tion, the majority of the world’s languages are as yet not adequately described. With¬ 
out basic grammars and dictionaries, these languages and their communities of speak¬ 
ers are in a real sense inaccessible to the rest of the world. This state of affairs is anti¬ 
thetical to today’s interconnected global mindset. 

This series, undertaken as a critical part of the mission of the University of Mary¬ 
land Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), is directed at remedying this 
problem. One goal of CASL’s research is to provide detailed, coherent descriptions 
of languages that are little studied or for which descriptions are not available in En¬ 
glish. Even where grammars for these languages do exist, in many instances they are 
decades out of date or limited in scope or detail. 

While the criticality of linguistic descriptions is indisputable, the painstaking work 
of producing grammars for neglected and under-resourced languages is often insuffi¬ 
ciently appreciated by scholars and graduate students more enamored of the latest the¬ 
oretical advances and debates. Yet, without the foundation of accurate descriptions of 
real languages, theoretical work would have no meaning. Moreover, without profes¬ 
sionally produced linguistic descriptions, technologically sophisticated tools such as 
those for automated translation and speech-to-text conversion are impossible. Such 
research requires time-consuming labor, meticulous description, and rigorous analy¬ 
sis. 

It is hoped that this series will contribute, however modestly, to the ultimate goal 
of making every language of the world available to scholars, students, and language 
lovers of all kinds. I would like to take this opportunity to salute the linguists at CASL 
and around the world who subscribe to this vision as their life’s work. It is truly a noble 
endeavor. 


Richard D. Brecht 
Founding Executive Director 
University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language 



Series Editors’ Preface 


This series arose out of research conducted on several under-described languages at 
the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language. In commencing 
our work, we were surprised at how many of the world’s major languages lack ac¬ 
cessible descriptive resources such as reference grammars and bilingual dictionaries. 
Among the ongoing projects at the Center is the development of such resources for 
various under-described languages. This series of grammars presents some of the lin¬ 
guistic description we have undertaken to fill such gaps. 

The languages covered by the series represent a broad range of language families 
and typological phenomena. They are spoken in areas of international significance, 
some in regions associated with political, social, or environmental instability. Provid¬ 
ing resources for these languages is therefore of particular importance. 

However, these circumstances often make it difficult to conduct intensive, in-country 
fieldwork. In cases where such fieldwork was impractical, the authors of that grammar 
have relied on close working relationships with native speakers, and, where possible, 
corpora of naturalistic speech and text. The conditions for data-gathering— and hence 
our approach to it—vary with the particular situation. 

We found the descriptive state of each language in the series to be different from 
that of the others: in some cases, much work had been done, but had never been col¬ 
lected into a single overview; in other cases, virtually no materials in English existed. 
Similarly, the availability of source material in the target language varies widely: in 
some cases, literacy and media are very sparse, while for other communities plentiful 
written texts exist. The authors have worked with the available resources to provide 
descriptions as comprehensive as these materials, the native speaker consultants, and 
their own corpora allow. 

One of our goals is for these grammars to reach a broad audience. For that reason 
the authors have worked to make the volumes accessible by providing extensive ex¬ 
emplification and theoretically neutral descriptions oriented to language learners as 
well as to linguists. All grammars in the series, furthermore, include the native orthog¬ 
raphy, accompanied where relevant by Romanization. While they are not intended as 
pedagogical grammars, we realize that in many cases they will supply that role as well. 

Each of the grammars is presented as a springboard to further research, which 
for every language continues to be warranted. We hope that our empirical work will 
provide a base for theoretical, comparative, computational, and pedagogical develop¬ 
ments in the future. We look forward to the publication of many such works. 


Claudia M. Brugman 
Thomas J. Conners 
Anne Boyle David 
Amalia E. Gnanadesikan 



Preface 


Pashto is a challenging language to study and describe, for several reasons. Its loca¬ 
tion in areas of rugged terrain, at the heart of a historical crossroad for traders, in¬ 
vaders, and migrating peoples, has led to alternating cycles of isolation and upheaval 
in the various Pashto-speaking regions. Furthermore, Pashto, a member of the Iranian 
language group itself, has undergone longterm influence from the many neighboring 
Indo-Aryan languages. Centuries of political turmoil, demographic shifts, and com¬ 
plex contact situations have contributed to significant dialectal variation. In addition, 
the current political situation makes in-country fieldwork highly problematic. 

This grammar builds on the considerable previous work of many scholars, among 
them J.G. Lorimer, Georg Morgenstierne, Herbert Penzl, D.N. MacKenzie, D.A. Shafeev, 
Manfred Lorenz, Wilma Heston, Daniel Septfonds, Habibullah Tegey and Barbara Rob¬ 
son, Taylor Roberts, Farooq Babrakzai, Naseer Hoonar Pashtoon and Zeeya A. Pash- 
toon, and David Pate . 1 Without their diligent scholarship we would not have been able 
to begin this task. Among the features our grammar adds to the corpus of Pashto re¬ 
search are some new analyses of previously described data and coverage of all the 
regional dialects in a single volume, along with a detailed exposition of the dialectal 
situation, data presented in both native orthography and transcription, and finally, a 
formal grammar which can be used to feed a morphological parser, available online 
for download to purchasers of this volume. 

The data for this grammar come from a wide range of printed resources, comple¬ 
mented by naturalistic corpora and work with native speaker consultants. We provide 
extensive examples and full paradigms, complete with full interlinearization of the 
example sentences: a native script line, a phonemic transcription, a morpheme-by- 
morpheme gloss line, and a free translation. Although native orthography is frequently 
omitted from descriptive grammars, it is particularly useful not only to the language 
expert but also to the language learner. 

In our description we have attempted to be theory-neutral without being simplis¬ 
tic. Any abstract description of a language is necessarily informed by theory at some 
level. We aim to be theoretically informed in as broad a way as possible, such that the 
descriptions and explications contained within this grammar will be of use not only to 
descriptive linguists, but also to those from a variety of theoretic backgrounds. How¬ 
ever, our primary loyalty is to the language being described and not to a particular 
theoretic approach to Language. 

A descriptive grammar is never really finished. Two areas in particular that we 
wish we could devote more time to are syntax and prosody, although the description 


1 We have been made aware of a substantial literature on Pashto written in Russian (Lutz Rzehak, 
p.c.), including Lebedev 1996, Lebedev 2003, and Grjunberg 1987; we have unfortunately been able 
to consult Grjunberg only briefly and Lebedev not at ail. 



xii 


Preface 


of Pashto syntax provided here is more detailed than previous overviews available in 
English and benefits from analyses of individual phenomena made by other scholars. 
There remains much work to be done on Pashto, and we view this volume as a spring¬ 
board for scholars to continue working on this fascinating language in all its varieties. 

Many people have helped in the creation of this book. The authors would like to 
thank all our colleagues at the University of Maryland Center for the Advanced Study of 
Language for their support—in particular, CASL’s Executive Director, Amy Weinberg, 
and our founding Executive Director, Richard Brecht—as well as Pashto language ex¬ 
perts in the United States Government. Our colleague and patron David Cox, who is 
much missed since his retirement, also deserves special mention for his assistance 
in promoting the idea of this series and for his constant, infectious enthusiasm for 
the enterprise of language description. Individuals who have had a part in producing 
this manuscript or advising our research include Nikki Adams, Farooq Babrakzai, Eve¬ 
lyn Browne, Katherine Burk, James Caron, Thomas Conners, Amalia Gnanadesikan, 
Wilma Heston, Mohammed Shahab Khan, Craig Kopris, Nathanael Lynn, Michael Mario, 
Zeeya Pashtoon, Tristan Purvis, Shawna Rafalko, Paul Rodrigues, and Tamara Wehmeir. 
We also thank the generous native speakers of Pashto who worked with us patiently, 
and without whom this volume would not exist. 

And finally, I would like to thank my co-authors for devoting themselves so dili¬ 
gently to this sometimes frustrating, always stimulating project, for being willing to 
disagree with me when I was wrong, and for never losing their senses of humor. I es¬ 
pecially thank Claudia Brugman for her conscientious editing of this entire book and 
Sarah Goodman for her tireless work finding and making sense of naturally occurring 
example sentences. All of these people have worked with scrupulous care to ensure 
that as few mistakes and misstatements crept into this book as possible; those that 
remain fall to me alone. 


Anne Boyle David 



Contents 


Foreword-vii 

Series Editors’ Preface-ix 

Preface-xi 


1 

About this Grammar-1 

1.1 

Scope of this book -1 

1.2 

Orthography -1 

1.3 

Tables and examples -2 

1.4 

Abbreviations and symbols -4 

2 

The Pashto Language-7 

2.1 

Background-7 

2.2 

Population of speakers-7 

2.2.1 

History and classification-8 

2.2.2 

Dialectal variation-8 

3 

Phonology and Orthography -9 

3.1 

Phonetics and phonology-9 

3.1.1 

Consonants - 9 

3.1.1.1 

Inventory - 9 

3.1.1.2 

“Elegant” consonants - 9 

3.1.2 

Vowels -10 

3.1.2.1 

Inventory -10 

3.1.2.2 

Vowel transcription -11 

3.1.2.3 

“Elegant” vowels - 13 

3.1.2.4 

Middle dialect vowels -13 

3.1.3 

Stress - 15 

3.2 

Orthography - 15 

3.2.1 

The script - 15 

3.2.1.1 

Letters unique to Pashto -16 

3.2.1.2 

Tables of letters and numerals - 

3.2.1.3 

Representation of vowels - 25 

3.2.1.3.1 Word-initial vowels - 25 

3.2.1.3.2 Word-internal vowels -26 



XIV — Contents 


3.2.1.3.3 Word-final vowels-28 

3.2.2 Rationale for transcription system-28 

3.2.3 Orthographic variation-29 

4 Pashto Dialects-31 

4.1 Introduction-31 

4.2 Characterizing Pashto dialects- 31 

4.2.1 Dialect marking in this work- 34 

4.2.1.1 Dialect marking in tables-34 

4.2.1.2 Dialect marking in interlinear examples-34 

4.3 The four dialects of General Pashto-35 

4.3.1 International differences-36 

4.4 The Middle dialects-37 

4.4.1 Middle dialect vowels-37 

4.4.2 Middle dialect consonants-39 

4.5 Other approaches-40 

4.5.1 Two dialects-40 

4.5.2 Three dialects-42 

5 Nouns-45 

5.1 Inflection-45 

5.1.1 Gender-45 

5.1.2 Number-46 

5.1.3 Case-47 

5.1.3.1 Direct case-48 

5.1.3.2 Oblique case-48 

5.1.3.3 Ablative case-48 

5.1.3.4 Vocative case-49 

5.1.3.5 Split ergativity -50 

5.1.4 Animacy-50 

5.2 Inflectional affixation- 51 

5.2.1 Introduction-51 

5.2.2 Stem allomorphy and other morphophonemic alternations- 52 

5.2.3 Class I-52 

5.2.3.1 Overview-52 

5.2.3.2 Class I masculine nouns- 55 

5.2.3.2.1 Masculine animate nouns in General Pashto- 55 

5.2.3.2.2 Masculine animate nouns in Waziri- 61 

5.2.3.2.3 Masculine inanimate nouns in General Pashto and Waziri-62 

5.2.3.3 Class I feminine nouns in General Pashto and Waziri-67 

5.2.3.3.1 General Pashto Class I feminine animate nouns-67 

5.2.3.3.2 General Pashto Class I feminine inanimate nouns-69 



Contents — XV 


5.2.3.3.3 

5.2.4 

5.2.4.1 

5.2.4.2 

5.2.4.3 

5.2.5 

5.2.5.1 

5.2.5.1.1 

5.2.5.2 

5.2.5.2.1 

5.2.5.2.2 

5.2.5.3 

5.2.5.3.1 

5.2.5.3.2 

5.2.5.4 

5.2.6 

5.2.6.1 

5.2.6.2 

5.3 

5.4 

5.4.1 

5.4.1.1 

5.4.1.2 

5.4.2 

5.4.3 


Waziri Class I feminine nouns-71 

Class 11-73 

Overview-73 

General Pashto Class I la-75 

General Pashto Class Mb-79 

Class III-80 

Overview-80 

Subclassification of Class III in General Pashto-80 

Class Ilia-84 

Masculine Class Ilia nouns-84 

Feminine Class Ilia nouns-85 

Class lllb-87 

Masculine Class lllb nouns-87 

Feminine Class lllb nouns-88 

Class III in Waziri-89 

Irregular nouns and irregular patterns in General Pashto-92 

Kinship terms-93 

Arabic borrowings-95 

Inflection and agreement of conjoined nouns-97 

Derivational morphology and loanwords-98 

Derivational morphology of nouns-98 

Nouns derived with suffixes-98 

Compounds-101 

Reduplication of nouns-101 

Loanwords-102 


6 Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers -103 

6.1 Introduction-103 

6.2 Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri-103 

6.2.1 Inflectional classes of General Pashto adjectives-103 

6.2.1.1 General Pashto Class I-104 

6.2.1.1.1 Case-marking suffixes-104 

6.2.1.1.2 Stem allomorphy-104 

6.2.1.1.3 Class I forms with stem allomorphy-105 

6.2.1.1.4 Class I forms without stem allomorphy-107 

6.2.1.1.5 Animacy in Class I adjectives-108 

6.2.1.2 General Pashto Class II-109 

6.2.1.2.1 Case-marking suffixes-109 

6.2.1.2.2 Stem allomorphy-110 

6.2.1.2.3 Class II forms with stem allomorphy-111 

6.2.1.2.4 Class II forms without stem allomorphy-115 

6.2.1.3 General Pashto Class III-116 



xvi — Contents 


6.2.1.3.1 Class Ilia-116 

6.2.1.3.2 Class lllb-118 

6.2.1.4 General Pashto Class IV (non-declining adjectives)-119 

6.2.2 Inflectional classes of Waziri adjectives-121 

6.2.2.1 Waziri Class I-121 

6.2.2.2 Waziri Class II-122 

6.2.2.3 Waziri Class III-122 

6.3 Determiners and definiteness-124 

6.3.1 Demonstrative determiners-124 

6.3.2 The indefinite determiner jj /yaw/‘one’-130 

6.4 Non-numerical noun quantifiers-130 

6.4.1 The quantifier JjJ /tol-/‘all’ 130 

6.4.2 The quantifier^* /har/, /ar/ ‘every’-131 

6.4.3 The quantifier /hets/‘none’-132 

6.5 Number names-132 

6.5.1 Cardinal numbers in Pashto-133 

6.5.1.1 Morphology-133 

6.5.1.2 Inventory-137 

6.5.2 Ordinal numbers in General Pashto and Waziri-144 

6.5.3 Reduplication of number names-146 

6.6 Interrogative adjectives-147 

6.7 Inflection of conjoined adjectives-149 

6.8 Derivation of adjectives-150 

6.8.1 Derivational suffixes-150 

6.8.1.1 Some Class I derivational suffixes-150 

6.8.1.2 Some Class Ilia derivational suffixes-152 

6.8.1.3 Some Class IV (non-declining) derivational suffixes-152 

6.8.2 Negators-152 

6.8.3 Compound adjectives-153 

6.8.4 Reduplication of adjectives-153 

6.9 Usage-154 

6.9.1 Attributive and predicative adjectives-154 

6.9.2 Zero-derivation of nouns from adjectives-155 

6.9.3 Comparatives and superlatives-156 

6.9.4 Adjectives as adverbs-156 

7 Pronouns -157 

7.1 Overview-157 

7.2 Strong personal pronouns-157 

7.2.1 Forms in General Pashto and Middle dialects-157 

7.2.2 Usage-161 

7.2.3 Strong possessive pronouns-163 



Contents - xvii 


7.3 Weak personal pronouns-164 

7.3.1 Forms-164 

7.3.2 Usage-166 

7.3.2.1 Occurrence restrictions-166 

7.3.2.2 Possessive constructions-168 

7.4 Deictoids: lj /ra/.ji /dar/,and jj /war/-169 

7.4.1 Oblique pronominal clitics-170 

7.4.2 Directional verbal clitics-171 

7.4.3 Deictic prefixes-172 

7.5 Demonstratives-172 

7.6 Interrogative pronouns-176 

7.7 Indefinite pronouns-179 

7.8 Relative pronouns-181 

7.9 Expressions of coreference-181 

7.10 Reciprocal pronouns-184 

7.11 Other pro-forms-184 

8 Verbs-185 

8.1 Overview-185 

8.1.1 Properties of verbs- 185 

8.1.2 Classifying verbs-186 

8.2 Verb components-187 

8.2.1 Structure of the verb-187 

8.2.2 Personal suffixes-191 

8.2.3 The infinitive-194 

8.2.4 Simplex and complex verbs-196 

8.2.4.1 Overview-196 

8.2.4.2 a-initial verbs-196 

8.2.4.3 Prefixed verbs-198 

8.2.4.4 Denominal verb constructions-200 

8.2.5 Conjugation classes-203 

8.2.5.1 Overview of conjugation classes-203 

8.2.5.2 First conjugation class in General Pashto-204 

8.2.5.3 First conjugation class in Middle dialects-207 

8.2.5.4 Second conjugation-209 

8.2.5.5 Third conjugation-210 

8.2.5.5.1 Forming the aorist in third conjugation verbs-210 

8.2.5.5.2 A special case of third conjugation verbs: infinitive/past participle 

+ J-Cif /kedal/-212 

8.2.6 Stem classes and the four bases-212 

8.2.6.1 The four verb bases-214 

8.2.6.2 Weak verbs (one stem)-215 



xviii — Contents 


8 . 2 . 6 . 3 

8 . 2 . 6 . 3.1 

8.2.6.3.2 

8.2.6.3.3 

8 . 2.7 

8.2.8 

8.2.8.1 
8 . 2 . 8 . 2 

8 . 2 . 8.3 
8.2.9 

8 . 2 . 9.1 

8.2.9.2 

8 . 2 . 9.3 

8.3 

8 . 3.1 

8 . 3.2 

8 . 3.3 

8 . 3.4 

8 . 3.5 

8 . 3.6 

8 . 3.7 

8 . 3.8 

8.4 

8 . 4.1 

8 . 4 . 1.1 

8 . 4 . 1.2 

8 . 4.2 

8 . 4 . 2.1 

8.4.2.2 

8.5 

8 . 5.1 

8 . 5 . 1.1 

8 . 5 . 1.2 

8 . 5.2 

8 . 5 . 2.1 

8 . 5 . 2 . 1.1 

8 . 5 . 2 . 1.2 

8.5.2.2 

8 . 5 . 2 . 2.1 

8 . 5 . 2 . 2.2 
8 . 5 . 2 . 3 


Strong verbs (more than one stem)-217 

Strong verbs with two stems-218 

Strong verbs with three or four stems-219 

List of strong verbs-224 

The causative morpheme-227 

The auxiliary to be and the verbalizers JjlS" /kedal/ and Jyf 

/kawal/-228 

Forms of to be -229 

Forms of J-LS" /kedal/‘to become’-234 

Forms of JjS' /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-239 

Participles-246 

Present participle-246 

Past participle-247 

Irregularities among past participles-249 

Simple verb constructions-249 

Present continuous-249 

Present aorist-252 

Past continuous-254 

Past aorist-256 

Continuous imperative-258 

Aorist imperative-260 

Continuous optative-261 

Aorist optative-263 

Compound verb constructions-265 

Perfect constructions-265 

Present perfect-265 

Past perfect-267 

Potential constructions-267 

Present potential-268 

Past potential-268 

Verb usage-269 

Uses of the verb to be -269 

to be as a copula-269 

to be as an auxiliary verb-270 

Simple verb constructions-270 

Present continuous-270 

Negation of present tense verbs-272 

Present continuous for expressing future events-273 

Present aorist-274 

Expressing the future with present aorist plus aj /ba/-275 

Other uses of the present aorist-275 

Past continuous-279 



Contents — XIX 


8.5.2.4 Pastaorist-281 

8.5.2.5 Imperative-283 

8.5.3 Compound constructions: perfect-287 

8.5.3.1 Present perfect-287 

8.5.3.2 Past perfect-290 

8.5.3.3 Negation of perfect tenses-291 

8.5.4 Compound constructions: potential-293 

8.5.4.1 Expressing potential present events-293 

8.5.4.2 Expressing potential past events-294 

8.5.4.3 Expressing potential future events-295 

8.5.4.4 Negative-298 

8.5.5 Infinitives-299 

8.5.5.1 Infinitives as nouns-299 

8.5.5.2 The periphrastic passive-300 

8.5.6 Present participles-303 

9 Adpositions-305 

9.1 Overview-305 

9.2 Adpositions and case assignment-306 

9.2.1 Assignment of oblique case-307 

9.2.2 Assignment of ablative case-308 

9.2.3 Assignment of direct case-309 

9.2.4 Mixed case-marking inside objects of adpositions-311 

9.3 Prepositions-312 

9.3.1 The prepositions /da/, /de/, /ye/, /e/ ‘of’-312 

9.3.1.1 The General Pashto preposition i /da/-312 

9.3.1.2 Complex adpositions using j /da/-313 

9.3.1.3 The Middle dialect prepositions /de/, /ye/, /e/-314 

9.3.1.4 Middle dialect complex adpositions using /ye/-315 

9.3.2 The General Pashto preposition aJ /la/‘from’-316 

9.3.3 The preposition ^ /be/‘without’-317 

9.3.4 The prepositions 4 j /pa/ (J j /par/-317 

9.3.4.1 The locational 4 j /pa/.jj /par/‘on’-318 

9.3.4.2 The instrumental 4 j /pa/‘with, by means of’-319 

9.3.4.3 The temporal 4 j /pa/ ;j j /par/‘at, on’-320 

9.3.4.4 With aspectual verbs-322 

9.3.5 The preposition J /tar/“up to”-323 

9.3.6 The preposition aSsJ /leka/ ‘like’-324 

9.4 Postpositions-325 

9.4.1 Overview-325 

9.4.2 The postposition aJ /ta/ ‘to, for’-326 

9.4.3 The postposition a^ /sara/‘with’-327 



XX — Contents 


9.4.4 The postposition /zidi/‘against’-327 

9.4.5 The postposition j /wrande/‘before’-328 

9.4.6 The postposition /yunde/ ‘like’-328 

9.4.7 The postposition /bande/-328 

9.4.8 Some additional postpositions in Middle dialects-329 

9.5 Circumpositions-329 

9.5.1 Circumpositions with j /da/-334 

9.5.1.1 General Pashto simple circumpositions with j /da/-334 

9.5.1.2 Middle dialect simple circumpositions with /ye/, /e/-336 

9.5.1.3 Complex circumpositions with j /da/-337 

9.5.2 General Pashto circumpositions with aJ /la/-346 

9.5.2.1 GP simple circumpositions with aJ /la/-346 

9.5.2.2 GP complex circumpositions with Aj.. .a! /la...na/-350 

9.5.3 Circumpositions with aj /pa/-353 

9.5.4 Circumpositions with j /tar/-357 

9.5.5 A Middle dialect circumposition with j /wa/-359 

9.6 Coalesced adpositional phrases-360 

9.6.1 Pro-adpositional phrases-360 

9.6.2 The adpositional phrase a £ /kara/‘at the home of’-361 

9.7 Adposition usage-362 

9.7.1 Aj /na/ vs. ablative case-marking on object-363 

9.7.2 j /da/and strong pronoun objects-363 

9.7.3 aj /pa/and ^JjL. .. aj /(pa...) bande/used in a causative con¬ 
struction -363 

9.7.4 Omission of pronoun objects of adpositions-364 

9.7.5 Postpositions with oblique pronominal clitics-365 

10 Other Lexical Elements-367 

10.1 Particles-367 

10.1.1 The existential particle A^i /sta/-367 

10.1.2 Modal particles-369 

10.1.2.1 The modal clitic aj /ba/-369 

10.1.2.2 The modal particles (ji /de/and-bl /bayad/-372 

10.1.2.3 The modal particle /sayi/ ‘may; must’-373 

10.1.2.4 The optative particle L5 S^ilS' /kaske/-373 

10.1.3 Affirmation particles-374 

10.1.4 The emphatic clitic/xo/ -375 

10.1.5 Vocative particles-375 

10.1.6 Interjections-376 

10.2 Adverbs-377 

10.2.1 Adverbs of time-378 



Contents — xxi 


10.2.2 Adverbs of place-380 

10.2.3 Adverbs of manner-382 

10.2.3.1 The adverb /sara/-385 

10.2.4 Adverbs of degree-386 

10.2.5 Adverbs borrowed from Arabic-387 

10.2.6 Adverbial interrogatives-388 

10.2.7 Adjectives as adverbs-391 

10.2.8 Reduplication of adverbs-392 

10.3 Reduplication-393 

10.3.1 Full (morphological) reduplication-393 

10.3.2 Partial reduplication: echo words-393 

11 Syntax-399 

11.1 Overview-399 

11.2 Phrasal syntax-399 

11.2.1 Noun phrases-399 

11.2.2 Adpositional phrases-400 

11.2.3 Verb phrases-401 

11.2.3.1 Light verb constructions-401 

11.2.3.2 Elements in the verbal group-403 

11.2.3.2.1 The verbal group in General Pashto-403 

11.2.3.2.2 The verbal group in Middle dialects-405 

11.2.3.2.3 Negative placement in the aorist verb phrase-406 

11.3 Main clause sentence types-410 

11.3.1 Declaratives-411 

11.3.1.1 Order of elements in declaratives-411 

11.3.1.2 Order of elements in ditransitive main clauses-413 

11.3.1.3 Locative alternation-413 

11.3.1.4 Adpositional phrases with oblique pronominal clitics-414 

11.3.1.5 Passive clauses-414 

11.3.2 Interrogatives-417 

11.3.2.1 Yes-or-no questions with the particle U /aya/-417 

11.3.2.2 Information questions with interrogative pronouns-418 

11.3.2.3 Affirmation questions with the particle a; aS~ /ka na/-419 

11.3.3 Imperatives-419 

11.3.3.1 The imperative verb form-419 

11.3.3.2 The negative imperative particle /ma/-420 

11.3.4 Generic and existential sentences with /sta/-421 

11.3.5 Other principles of word order in main clauses-421 

11.3.5.1 Weak pronouns-421 

11.3.5.2 Particles-424 

11.3.5.3 Adpositional phrases in main clauses-424 



xxii 


11.3.5.4 

11.4 

11.4.1 

11.4.2 

11.4.3 

11.4.3.1 

11.4.4 

11.4.4.1 

11.4.4.2 

11.4.4.3 

11.4.4.4 

11.4.4.5 

11.4.4.6 

11.4.4.7 

11.5 

11.6 
11 . 6.1 
11 . 6 . 1.1 
11 . 6 . 1.2 

11.6.1.3 

11.6.1.4 
11.6.2 

11.7 

11.7.1 

11.7.2 

11.7.3 

11.7.4 

11.7.4.1 

11.7.4.2 

11.7.4.3 

11.7.5 
A 

A.l 
A.2 
A.3 
A.3.1 
A.3.1.1 
A.3.2 
A.4 
A.5 
A.5.1 
A.5.2 


Contents 


Interpretation of ad positional phrases headed by i /da/-424 

Some subordinate clause types -425 

Relative clauses-425 

Noun complement clauses-428 

Verb complement clauses-429 

Reported speech-432 

Subordinate clauses as modifiers-434 

Subordinate clauses with time reference-434 

Conditional and counterfactual clauses with /ka/ ‘if’-435 

Subordinate clauses with /dzaka/ ‘because’ -436 

Subordinate clauses expressing result-438 

Subordinate clauses expressing reason-439 

Subordinate clauses expressing purpose-439 

Subordinate clauses of concession-440 

Periphrastic causatives-440 

Conjunction-442 

Coordinating conjunctions-443 

jl /aw/‘and’-443 

L /ya/ ‘or’-444 

/xo/‘but’-445 

L (jl) /(aw) bya/‘then’-446 

Correlative conjunctions-446 

Principles of case-marking and agreement-448 

Tense-based case-marking and split ergativity-448 

Agreement of conjoined items-450 

Concordant adverbs-450 

Case-marking patterns of verbs of sensation or preference-450 

Four denominal verbs of sensation-450 

Denominal y>- /xwaxeg-/ ‘like, enjoy’-451 

Three more expressions of preference-452 

An unergative or middle voice construction-453 

Structure of this Grammar-455 

Overview-455 

Audience-456 

More on uses of this grammar-457 

The grammar as a basis for computational tools-457 

Building a parser and generator-458 

The grammar as a description-460 

Spell correction-461 

Grammar adaptation-462 

Manual grammar building-462 

Automated grammar adaptation-463 



List of Tables 


xxiii 


A. 6 Formatting the grammar for viewing- 464 

B Sources of Pashto Data-467 

B. l Sources of interlinear examples taken from the web- 467 

B.2 List of web pages mined for language data- 474 

Bibliography-477 

Index-487 


List of Figures 


4.1 Pashto dialects-32 

4.2 Waziri metaphony-39 


List of Tables 


1.1 Class 1, stem alternation: /spak/ ‘light’-3 

1.2 Present continuous of Jyf /kawal/‘to make, to do’ 4 

3.1 Pashto consonants- 9 

3.2 “Elegant,” or formal, consonants- 10 

3.3 Pashto vowels- 10 

3.4 Pashto diphthongs- 11 

3.5 Comparison among vowel transcription systems- 12 

3.6 Comparison among M vowel transcription systems- 14 

3.7 Pashto retroflex letters with pandak- 16 

3.8 Pashto letters with dot below and dot above- 17 

3.9 Pashto affricate letters based on ^ - 17 

3.10 Pashto letters based on (j - 17 

3.11 Pashto alphabet- 19 

3.12 Positional variants of letters- 22 



xxiv — List of Tables 

3.13 Pashto (Eastern Arabic) numerals-24 

3.14 Short vowel diacritics-25 

3.15 Word-initial vowels-26 

3.16 Pashto initial digraphs-26 

3.17 Word-internal vowels-27 

3.18 Word-final vowels-28 

4.1 Phonological variation among major Pashto dialects-3 

4.2 Correspondence between /i/ and /e/ in closed-class words 

4.3 Four dialects of General Pashto-35 

4.4 Tribal and geographical associations by dialect-36 

4.5 Waziri metaphony-38 

4.6 Middle dialect consonantal deviation from GP-40 

4.7 Alternative dialect codes-40 

4.8 Names for components of a two-dialect analysis of Pashto 

4.9 Eastern and Peshawar dialects compared-43 

4.10 Three-dialect approach-44 

4.11 Pronunciation of j -44 

5.1 GP Class I Masc. noun suffixes-53 

5.2 Middle dialect Class I Masc. noun suffixes-53 

5.3 GP Class I Fern, noun suffixes-54 

5.4 Middle dialect Class I Fern, noun suffixes-54 

5.5 GP Class I Masc. animate—morphophonemic alternations 

5.6 GP Class I Masc. animate: a^xoj /wexta/‘hair’-56 

5.7 GP Class I Masc. animate: aJjj /banda/‘slave’-57 

5.8 GP Class I Masc. animate: /daku/‘bandit’-57 

5.9 GP Class I Masc. animate: jjL /bazu/‘arm’-58 

5.10 GP Class I Masc. animate: /mirza/ ‘clerk’-58 

5.11 GP Class I Masc. animate: UU /mama/‘maternal uncle’- 

5.12 GP Class I Masc. animate: (^jji /darzf/ ‘tailor’-59 

5.13 GP Class I Masc. animate: jjJb /plandar/‘stepfather’- 

5.14 GP Class I Masc. animate: J-j /pil/ ‘elephant’-60 

5.15 Waziri Class I Masc. animate: /sagard/ ‘student [male]’ — 

5.16 Waziri Class I Masc. animate: /mirza/ ‘clerk’-61 

5.17 Waziri Class I Masc. animate: /kazf/‘judge’-62 

5.18 Class I Masc. inanimate—stem allomorphy-63 

5.19 GP Class I Masc. inanimate: ^ /yar/ ‘mountain’-63 

5.20 GP Class I Masc. inanimate: /daftar/‘office’-64 

5.21 GP Class I Masc. inanimate: /ywag/‘ear’-65 

5.22 GP Class I Masc. inanimate: /psa/‘sheep’-65 

5.23 Waziri Class I Masc. inanimate: /tayar/‘rug’-65 



List of Tables — XXV 


5.24 Waziri Class I Masc. inanimate: /daftar/‘office’-66 

5.25 Waziri Class I Masc. inanimate: /pasa/ ‘sheep’-66 

5.26 Waziri Class I Masc. inanimate: /yar/ ‘mountain’-66 

5.27 GP Class I Fern, animate—stem allomorphy-67 

5.28 GP Class I Fern, animate: /xwaxe/‘mother-in-law’-68 

5.29 GP Class I Fern, animate/inanimate: /bizo/‘monkey’-68 

5.30 GPClass I Fem. animate/inanimate: /brexna/‘lightning’-69 

5.31 GP Class I Fern, inanimate—stem allomorphy-69 

5.32 Class I Fem. inanimate: /aspa/‘mare’-70 

5.33 Class I Fem. inanimate: /miast/‘mouth’-70 

5.34 Class 1 Fem. inanimate: Ijj /rana/‘light’-71 

5.35 Waziri Class I Fem., consonant-final: /wradz/‘day’-72 

5.36 Waziri Class I Fem., unstressed-vowel-final: /jarga/ ‘council’-72 

5.37 Waziri Class I Fem., stressed-vowel-final: /zanda/ ‘flag’ 72 

5.38 GP Class I la noun suffixes-74 

5.39 GP Class Mb noun suffixes-74 

5.40 GP Class lla—stem allomorphy-75 

5.41 GP Class lla inanimate: jJL /palez/ ‘kitchen garden’-76 

5.42 GP Class lla inanimate: /paxtun/‘Pashtun’-76 

5.43 GP Class lla inanimate: jy3 /tanur/‘oven’-77 

5.44 GP Class lla animate/inanimate: Jp /yal/ ‘thief’-78 

5.45 GP Class lla animate: 4 ^Lo /melma/ ‘guest’-78 

5.46 GPClass Mb—stem allomorphy-79 

5.47 GP Class Mb: /duxman/‘enemy’-80 

5.48 GPClass Ilia Masc. noun suffixes-81 

5.49 GPClass Ilia Fem. noun suffixes-82 

5.50 GP Class lllb Masc. noun suffixes-83 

5.51 GP Class lllb Fem. noun suffixes-83 

5.52 GP Class Ilia Masc. animate: /spay/‘dog [male]’-84 

5.53 GP Class Ilia Masc. inanimate: /gaday/‘feast’-85 

5.54 GP Class Ilia Fem. animate: /spay/‘dog [female]’-86 

5.55 GPClass Ilia Fem. animate: /koranay/‘family’-86 

5.56 GP Class Ilia Fem. inanimate: /calaki/‘trickiness’-87 

5.57 GP Class lllb Masc.: /malgaray/ ‘friend [male]’-88 

5.58 GP Class lllb Fem.: ^/malgare/ ‘friend [female]’-89 

5.59 Middle dialect Class Ilia Masc. noun suffixes-90 

5.60 Middle dialect Class lllb Masc. noun suffixes-90 

5.61 Middle dialect Class III Fem. noun suffixes: /-ay/-90 

5.62 Middle dialect Class III Fem. noun suffixes: /-o/-91 

5.63 Middle dialect Class Ml Fem. noun suffixes: /-ye/-91 

5.64 Waziri Class Ilia Masc. animate: /xusay/ ‘calf’-91 





xxvi — List of Tables 

5.65 Waziri Class III Masc. inanimate: /patay/‘star’-91 

5.66 Waziri Class III Fem.: /saray/‘woolen jacket’-91 

5.67 Waziri Class Ilia Fem. inanimate: /xamto/ ‘cloth’-92 

5.68 Waziri Class Ilia Fem. inanimate: /gutye/‘ring’-92 

5.69 Irregular Fem. kinship noun: jy /mor/ ‘mother’-93 

5.70 Irregular Masc. kinship noun: ajljj /wrare/‘brother's son’-94 

5.71 Irregular Masc. kinship noun: /zoy/‘son’-94 

5.72 Irregular Fem. kinship noun: j^s /lur/‘daughter’-95 

5.73 Masc. Arabic loanword:/mujahid/ ‘fighter’-96 

5.74 Masc. Arabic loanword: ^ypy /mawzo'/ ‘topic’-96 

5.75 Derived noun suffixes-98 

6.1 GP Class 1 adjective suffixes-104 

6.2 GP Class I, stem alternation: /spak/ ‘light’-106 

6.3 GP Class I, jj./ war/alternation: /zrawar/‘brave’-106 

6.4 GP Class I, yy. /jan/alternation: /yamjan/‘sad’-107 

6.5 GP Class I, consonant-final adjective, no alternation: yyL /palwand/ 

‘fat’-108 

6.6 GP Class II adjective suffixes-109 

6.7 GP Class II, -a-final adjective: ey /tera/ ‘sharp’-111 

6.8 GP Class II, back vowel lowering: /pox/‘cooked, ripe’-112 

6.9 GP Class II, back vowel lowering: /rund/‘blind’-112 

6.10 GP Class II, back vowel breaking: iy /tod/ ‘hot’; stem = /tawd/-113 

6.11 GP Class II, back vowel breaking: jy- /xoz/‘sweet’; stem =/xwag/ 

or /xwaz/-114 

6.12 GP Class II, Syncope II: jy» /sur/‘red’ 114 

6.13 GP Class II, Syncope II and epenthesis: /trix/‘bitter’-115 

6.14 GP Class II, consonant-final adjective, no stem allomorphy: /urn/ 

‘raw, green’-116 

6.15 GP Class Ilia adjective suffixes-117 

6.16 GP Class Ilia: /zalmay/ ‘young’-117 

6.17 GP Class lllb adjective suffixes-118 

6.18 GP Class lllb: ijy /saway/‘burnt’-119 

6.19 GP Class IV: 4 j^jLv /xayista/‘pretty’-120 

6.20 GP Class IV: /yawazi/‘alone’-120 

6.21 GP Class IV: L-yt /hosa/‘comfortable’ 121 

6.22 Waziri Class I adjective suffixes-122 

6.23 Waziri Class II adjective suffixes-122 

6.24 Waziri Class III adjective suffixes-123 

6.25 Waziri Class III adjective with Fem. suffix/-ay/: /lewanay/ ‘mad’-123 

6.26 Waziri Class III adjective with Fem. suffix /-ye/: /meranay/ ‘matri- 

lineally related’-123 



List of Tables — xxvii 


6.27 Proximal demonstrative ta /da/-124 

6.28 Proximal demonstrative APi /daya/-126 

6.29 Medial demonstratives-128 

6.30 Distal demonstratives-129 

6.31 GPjj /yaw/‘one’-133 

6.32 Waziri /yaw/‘one’-134 

6.33 GPaji /dwa/‘two’-134 

6.34 Waziri /dwa/‘two’-134 

6.35 GP /dre/ ‘three’-135 

6.36 GPjjLi- /tsalor/‘four’-135 

6.37 Waziri plural forms of declinable number names-137 

6.38 GP numerals and number names-138 

6.39 Waziri number names that differ from GP forms-144 

6.40 GP Class I: /lasam/‘tenth’-145 

6.41 Waziri irregular ordinal number names-146 

6.42 GP interrogative adjectives-147 

6.43 Waziri interrogative adjectives-147 

7.1 GP strong pronouns, 1st and 2nd person-158 

7.2 Middle dialect strong pronouns, 1st and 2nd person-158 

7.3 GP strong pronouns, 3rd person-158 

7.4 Middle dialect strong pronouns, 3rd person-159 

7.5 Distal 3rd person pronoun ajLa /haya/-159 

7.6 Possessive pronouns-164 

7.7 GP weak pronouns-165 

7.8 Middle dialect weak pronouns-165 

7.9 Distribution pattern for weak pronouns-166 

7.10 Oblique pronominal clitics-171 

7.11 GP proximal demonstrative ta /da/-173 

7.12 Middle dialect proximal demonstrative ta /da/-173 

7.13 GP proximal demonstrative APi /daya/-174 

7.14 Waziri proximal demonstrative /daya/-174 

7.15 Dzadrani proximal demonstrative /daya/-174 

7.16 GP medial demonstrative aAa /hay-a/-175 

7.17 Waziri medial demonstrative /aya/-175 

7.18 Dzadrani medial demonstrative /aya/-175 

7.19 GP distal demonstrative Apyt /huy-a/-176 

7.20 GP human interrogative pronoun /tsok/-177 

7.21 Middle dialect human interrogative pronoun /tsok/-177 

8.1 Structure of weak (one stem) verbs-188 

8.2 Structure of strong (more than one stem) verbs-189 



XXviii — List of Tables 

8.3 Stem shapes-190 

8.4 GP verbs: personal suffixes-192 

8.5 Waziri verbs: personal suffixes-193 

8.6 Dzadrani verbs: personal suffixes-193 

8.7 Infinitives-195 

8.8 Deictic verb prefixes-198 

8.9 Non-productive verb prefixes-199 

8.10 Examples of prefixed verbs-200 

8.11 Behavior of denominal verbs-202 

8.12 Examples of denominal verbs-203 

8.13 GP first conjugation verbs: present tense stems and aorist bases-205 

8.14 GP o-initial verbs (first conjugation): aorist bases-206 

8.15 Waziri verbs: forms corresponding to GP o-initial verbs-208 

8.16 Dzadrani verbs: forms corresponding to GP o-initial verbs-208 

8.17 Second conjugation verbs: aorist bases (present tense)-209 

8.18 Contracted third conjugation verbs: aorist stems (present tense)-211 

8.19 Verbs and their stems: strong and weak-213 

8.20 Weak verb bases: first conjugation (transitive)-216 

8.21 Weak verb bases: first conjugation (intransitive)-216 

8.22 Weak verb bases: second conjugation-217 

8.23 Strong verb bases: first conjugation (two stems)-218 

8.24 Strong suppletive verb, first conjugation (two stems)-219 

8.25 Strong verb bases: second conjugation (two stems)-219 

8.26 Strong verb bases: /kawal/‘to do’-220 

8.27 Strong verb bases: /wral/ ‘to carry’-221 

8.28 Strong verb bases: Jj-j /biwal/‘to lead away’-221 

8.29 Strong verb bases: /ixodal/‘to put’-221 

8.30 Strong verb bases: JjuS" /kedal/‘to become’-222 

8.31 Strong verb bases: JJa /tlal/ ‘to go’-222 

8.32 Strong verb bases: Jillj /ratlal/‘to come’-222 

8.33 Waziri strong verb bases: /kawal/‘to do’-223 

8.34 Dzadrani strong verb bases: /kawal/‘to do’-223 

8.35 Waziri strong verb bases: /kedal/‘to become’-223 

8.36 Dzadrani strong verb bases: /kedal/‘to become’-224 

8.37 Strong verbs-224 

8.38 Causative verbs-228 

8.39 GP present continuous of to be -230 

8.40 Waziri present continuous of to be -230 

8.41 Dzadrani present continuous of to be -231 

8.42 GP present aorist of to be (= present continuous except in 3rd per¬ 
son) -231 



List of Tables — xxix 


8.43 Waziri present aorist of to be (= present continuous except in 3rd 

person)-231 

8.44 Dzadrani present aorist of to be -232 

8.45 GP past of to be -232 

8.46 Waziri past of to be -233 

8.47 Dzadrani past of fo be -233 

8.48 Imperative of fo be-233 

8.49 GP present continuous of J-Lif /kedal/‘to become’-234 

8.50 Waziri present continuous of /kedal/‘to become’-234 

8.51 Dzadrani present continuous of /kedal/ ‘to become’-235 

8.52 GP present aorist of Jjjf /kedal/‘to become’-235 

8.53 Waziri present aorist of /kedal/ ‘to become’-235 

8.54 Dzadrani present aorist of /kedal/ ‘to become’-236 

8.55 GP past continuous of J-LS~ /kedal/‘to become’-237 

8.56 Waziri past continuous of /kedal/ ‘to become’-237 

8.57 Dzadrani past continuous of /kedal/ ‘to become’-238 

8.58 GP past aorist of Jjjf /kedal/‘to become’-238 

8.59 Dzadrani past aorist of /kedal/ ‘to become’-239 

8.60 GP present continuous of Jyf /kawal/‘to make; to do’-239 

8.61 Waziri present continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-240 

8.62 Dzadrani present continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-240 

8.63 GP present aorist of /kawal/‘to make; to do’-241 

8.64 Waziri present aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-241 

8.65 Dzadrani present aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-242 

8.66 GP past continuous of /kawal/‘to make; to do’-242 

8.67 Waziri past continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-243 

8.68 Dzadrani past continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-243 

8.69 GP past aorist of /kawal/‘to make; to do’-244 

8.70 Waziri past aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-245 

8.71 Dzadrani past aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’-245 

8.72 Present participles-246 

8.73 Present participle: declension-247 

8.74 Past participles-248 

8.75 Past participle: declension-248 

8.76 Past participles built on aorist bases-249 

8.77 Present continuous, first conjugation (intransitive)-250 

8.78 Present continuous, first conjugation (transitive)-250 

8.79 Present continuous, second conjugation-251 

8.80 Present continuous, third conjugation-251 

8.81 Present aorist, first conjugation (intransitive)-252 

8.82 Present aorist, first conjugation (transitive)-252 

8.83 Present aorist, second conjugation-253 



XXX — List of Tables 


8.84 Present aorist, third conjugation-253 

8.85 Past continuous, first conjugation (intransitive)-254 

8.86 Past continuous, first conjugation (transitive)-255 

8.87 Past continuous, second conjugation-255 

8.88 Past continuous, third conjugation-256 

8.89 Past aorist, first conjugation (intransitive)-256 

8.90 Past aorist, first conjugation (transitive)-257 

8.91 Past aorist, second conjugation-257 

8.92 Past aorist, third conjugation-258 

8.93 Continuous imperative, first conjugation-259 

8.94 Continuous imperative, first conjugation (negative)-259 

8.95 Continuous imperative, second conjugation-259 

8.96 Continuous imperative, second conjugation (negative)-259 

8.97 Continuous imperative, third conjugation-260 

8.98 Continuous imperative, third conjugation, negative-260 

8.99 Aorist imperative, first conjugation-260 

8.100 Aorist imperative, second conjugation-261 

8.101 Aorist imperative, third conjugation-261 

8.102 Continuous optative forms-262 

8.103 Aorist optative forms-264 

8.104 Present perfect, first and second conjugations-265 

8.105 Present perfect, third conjugation-266 

8.106 Past perfect-267 

8.107 Present potential-268 

8.108 Past potential-268 

9.1 Some GP simple circumpositions-331 

9.2 Some Middle Dialect circumpositions in contrast with GP-333 

10.1 Some adverbs of time-379 

10.2 Some adverbs of place-381 

10.3 Some adverbs of manner-384 

10.4 Some adverbs of degree-386 

10.5 Arabic adverbs in Pashto-388 

10.6 Some other interrogative words-389 

10.7 Some doublets and their base stems-397 

11.1 Element ordering in negative future constructions-407 

11.2 Negative placement-409 

11.3 GP additional interrogative adverbs-418 

11.4 Case-marking pattern for nouns-449 

11.5 Case-marking pattern for human interrogative pronouns-449 

11.6 Case-marking pattern for strong pronouns-449 



1 About this Grammar 

1.1 Scope of this book 

This grammar covers the four standard dialects and the Middle dialects—including 
Waziri—of modern Pashto, with greatest emphasis on morphology. Morphological and 
some lexical features specific to the Middle dialects are given their own sections, cor¬ 
responding to their counterparts in General Pashto (the set of dialects that exist in 
contrast to the Middle dialects, as described in Chapter 4). Where Middle dialects (ab¬ 
breviated as “M”) and General Pashto (“GP”) are not known to differ—for example, in 
their syntax—only one description is given. If no Middle-specific form of a particular 
feature is described, we presume that it conforms to General Pashto. Chapter 4 con¬ 
tains a more complete description of the differences among Pashto dialects. 

In order to describe the wide range of Pashto dialects with precision, we consulted 
a variety of sources, including previously published grammars, publicly available data 
on the internet, and consultations with native speakers. Pashto, as a living language 
spoken in a politically volatile region, is constantly evolving, and our data collection 
strategy enabled us to include examples from a wide swath of dialectal situations. 

Native speakers from several dialect areas were consulted on issues ranging from 
basic pronunciation to the appropriate use of complex syntactic constructions. After 
providing detailed personal language background information, each speaker was re¬ 
corded pronouncing single word examples from prescribed lists. Over the course of 
several sessions, the speaking tasks increased in complexity. Speakers were asked to 
provide complete paradigms and examples of usage. We were able to consult speakers 
about phenomena that were insufficiently or inconsistently described in the literature, 
asking for grammatical judgments about specific examples and more open-ended com¬ 
mentary on general issues. 


1.2 Orthography 

Except for the fact that written Pashto always uses the Perso-Arabic script, Pashto 
writing varies significantly according to a number of factors such as region, influence 
of other languages, and so on, and many words may have multiple widely-accepted 
spellings. Additionally, apparent word boundaries can vary as well. For instance, some 
writers orthographically treat forms we assert to be free forms as if they are bound 
forms (e.g. by joining a preposition with the word it governs), or, conversely, treat 
forms we believe to be bound forms as if they are free (e.g. by separating an aorist 
prefix from its stem). 

We present all authentic written examples as we found them, with their original 
spellings and word boundaries; however, we represent words as consistently as possi¬ 
ble from one transcription and morpheme-by-morpheme gloss to the next, which may 



2 


About this Grammar 


result in examples in which a single word in the Pashto script is represented as multi¬ 
ple words in the gloss, or in which multiple words in the Pashto script are represented 
as a single word in the gloss. Where the authentic text represents variance from what 
we believe to be standard conventions of spelling or word boundaries, a standardized 
version of the Pashto script is presented in an accompanying footnote. 

Authentic spoken examples are represented in the dialect of the speaker and this 
dialect information is indicated in subscript, when known. A complete table of the 
transcription schema used in this book is given in Table 3.11. 

Where we have cited examples from other scholarly works, we have retained as 
much information as the original example provides. (If such an example does not con¬ 
tain script, we have not added it, unless we were certain of their transcription system.) 
In some instances, we have adapted the Romanization system or the morpheme gloss¬ 
ing used by the author in order to elucidate the point at hand. 


1.3 Tables and examples 

Table titles are marked, where relevant, with information about the dialect(s) con¬ 
cerned. Where there is no dialect information in the table title, the contents of that 
table are presumed to hold for all dialects (General Pashto and Middle dialects). 

To more easily represent widespread syncretism in Pashto grammatical forms, the 
tables in this grammar use an empty cell to represent a form which is identical to the 
form above it (or, if there is no form above it, or if the form above it is separated with 
a horizontal line, identical to the form to its left). Forms whose existence is uncertain 
are represented with a question mark; this is more likely in Middle dialects than in 
General Pashto. The complete absence of a form is denoted by a dash in the cell. Where 
different dialect forms exist, these are shown vertically, with the initial of the dialect 
name in subscript after the form. Where no alternate forms are given, the form in the 
table should be taken as applying to all dialects. 

Table 1.1 and Table 1.2 are examples showing these table layouts. 

In Table 1.1, 

• The masculine singular oblique form is the same as the masculine singular direct; 

• The masculine singular vocative form is the same as the masculine singular ablative; 

• The masculine plural ablative and vocative, the feminine singular ablative and voca¬ 
tive, and the feminine plural ablative and vocative forms are the same as the mascu¬ 
line plural oblique, the feminine singular oblique, and the feminine plural oblique, 
respectively; and 

• The masculine plural direct form is the same as the masculine singular direct. 


In Table 1.2, 



Tables and examples 


3 


• The third person feminine singular form is the same as the third person masculine 
singular form, and 

• Both the third person plural forms are the same as the third person singular form. 

Some of these forms are spelled the same but pronounced differently from one dialect 
to the next, while other forms have different spellings as well as different pronuncia¬ 
tions. 


a~o~e Masculine Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

spakE 

spakw 


spak-a e 
spak-a w 

spak-e e 

spak-i w 

Oblique 


_ spak-o e 

spak-e e 

spak-i w 

spak-o e 

Ablative 

spak-a e 

spak-o w 
spok-o w 

spak-o w 
spok-o w 


spak-a w 




Table 1.1: Class I, stem alternation: /spak/ Tight’ 


Examples of Pashto words appear occasionally in text, with the Pashto script fol¬ 
lowed by the transcription in phonemic slashes and the gloss in single quotation marks: 
/spak/ ‘light’. 

Examples of phrases and complete sentences appear in numbered four-line inter¬ 
linear examples, with the Pashto script in the first line, the transcription in the second, 
the morpheme-by-morpheme gloss in the third, and the translation of the sentence in 
the last line. 1.1 is a sample of an interlinear example. 

(1.1) !oi OLvjl 

xuwandz-ay jorawdna-0 insan-0 jorawdna-0 

school-M.DIR building-F.DIR people-M.DIR building-F.DIR 

da 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Building schools means growing our youth!’ 



4 


About this Grammar 


JjS" kawal ‘to make, to 
do* 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

r/ 

jf 


kawam 

kawu 

2nd 




kawe 

kaway 


M 

kawf 


F 


Table 1.2: Present continuous of J £ /kawal/ ‘to make, to do’ 


When an interlinear example is used to illustrate a particular word or morphologi¬ 
cal concept, the term appears in bold type. The transcription and morpheme gloss are 
always bolded in such instances, and the free translation may be bolded if the English 
words clearly correspond to the Pashto. For ease of reading, the Pashto script is never 
bolded. 


1.4 Abbreviations and symbols 

Where possible, morpheme glosses in this grammar follow the Leipzig Glossing Rules, 1 
a set of formatting conventions widely adopted in the linguistics community. 
Commonly used abbreviations in this grammar include the following: 

*: non-existent or unacceptable form 

variation in forms (within or across dialects) 

[ ]: non-overt element 

0: zero morpheme 

1: first person pronominal clitic 

1DVC: first person directional verbal clitic 

2: second person pronominal clitic 

2DVC: second person directional verbal clitic 

3: third person pronominal clitic 


1 http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/resources/glossing-rules.php 



Abbreviations and symbols 


5 


3DVC: third person directional verbal clitic 

ABL: ablative 

ADJ: adjective 

ADJZ: adjectivizer 

ANIM: animate 

AOR: aorist 

C: consonant 

COMIT: comitative 

COMP: complementizer 

CONT: continuous 

DIR: direct 

DZA: Dzadrani (dialect) 

E: Eastern (dialects) 

ECHO: echo word 

EMPH: emphatic 

EXT: existential particle 

F: feminine 

GP: General Pashto 

INF: infinitive 

IMP: imperative 

INSTR: instrumental 

LVC: light verb construction 

M: (as diacritic) Middle (dialect) 

M: (in glosses) masculine 
N:noun 

NE: Northeastern (dialect) 

NEC: modal of necessity or obligation 
NEG: negative particle 
NMLZ: nominalizer 
NW: Northwestern (dialect) 

OBL: oblique 
OPT: optative 
PL: plural 

PNG: person-number-gender 
POSS: possessive 
PRS: non-past 
PTCP: participle 
PST: past 

Q: question particle 
SE: Southeastern (dialect) 

SG: singular 
STR: strong 



6 


About this Grammar 


SW: Southwestern (dialect) 

V: vowel 

VOC: vocative 

W: Western (dialects) 

WAZ: Waziri (dialect) 

WAZ-L: Waziri (dialect); example comes from Lorimer 
WK: weak 

WOULD: modal of irrealis or habitual events 



Anne Boyle David 

2 The Pashto Language 

2.1 Background 

Pashto is considered to be the second-most important Iranian language, after Persian, 
given its widespread use in Afghanistan and Pakistan, its official status in Afghanistan, 
and its long literary tradition dating back to or before the 16th century (Mackenzie 1992; 
Skjaervp 1989). This section provides an overview of the Pashto language, including 
demographic information, linguistic classification, dialectal variation, and available 
linguistic resources. 


2.2 Population of speakers 

Pashto is an Indo-Iranian language of the East Iranian branch, spoken primarily in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan it is predominantly spoken in the eastern 
(Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar), central (Kabul, Logar, Wardak), southeastern (Ghazni, 
Khost, Paktiya, Paktika), southwestern (Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul), and 
western (Herat, Farah) regions. In Pakistan it is primarily spoken in the Khyber Pakh- 
tunkhwa (formerly North-West Frontier Province); the Federally Administered Tribal 
Areas (including Waziristan); and in northeastern Balochistan, including the city of 
Quetta. Communities of Pashto-speaking migrant laborers from Afghanistan and Pak¬ 
istan are reportedly found in Iran and the United Arab Emirates, and small populations 
of Pashto speakers have been documented in Tajikistan (Lewis, 2009). 

Babrakzai (1999) notes that most estimates of the number of Pashto speakers in 
available linguistic studies and encyclopedic descriptions are quite rough. Until re¬ 
cently, figures have tended to be outdated or otherwise underestimated, ranging from 
13 million (a figure widely quoted from Penzl 1955; see e.g. Lockwood 1972; Lorenz 
1982; Mackenzie 1987; Mackenzie 1992) to above 20 million (Inozemtsev 2001; Tegey 
& Robson 1996). Austin (2008) sets the range at 30-50 million speakers; this appears 
to be a fairly sound figure when compared to the estimate of 41.3 million speakers that 
can be derived from the World Factbook’s population projections and ethnic percent¬ 
age figures: 42% of Afghanistan’s 33.6 million inhabitants and 15.42% of Pakistan’s 
total population of 176 million (Directorate of Intelligence 2009a; Directorate of Intel¬ 
ligence 2009b). 1 At the upper end of this range, Ethnologue tentatively reports 49.5 


1 Though itself dominated by neighboring languages such as Dari and Urdu in some spheres, 
Pashto is a relatively dominant language, so it is reasonable to expect that Pashtun ethnicity 
corresponds roughly with Pashto language acquisition. Furthermore, although there may be some 
attrition through marriage, immersion in non-Pashto speaking urban settings, etc., the numbers are 
probably more than offset by speakers of other languages who adopt Pashto as a second language. 



8 


The Pashto Language 


million speakers of Pashto in all countries (Lewis, 2009). On the lower end, a posthu¬ 
mously updated version of Mackenzie’s description in The World's Major Languages 
places the number at about 25 million (Mackenzie 2009, cf. Mackenzie 1987). 


2.2.1 History and classification 

Pashto belongs to the East Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian language family, mean¬ 
ing it is closely related to other Iranian languages such as the Pamir languages (also 
in the East Iranian branch) and Persian, Kurdish, and Balochi (in the West Iranian 
branch). It is somewhat less closely related to the neighboring Nuristani languages 
and to Indo-Aryan languages such as Urdu, Punjabi, and Sindhi; and more distantly 
related to other Indo-European languages. Beyond the classification of Pashto as an 
East Iranian language, there are competing views and descriptions regarding the ex¬ 
act subclassification of Pashto and the degree of affinity between Pashto and certain 
related languages, especially Ormuri and Parachi. 


2.2.2 Dialectal variation 

Pashto can be divided into numerous dialects, or varieties, as described in more detail 
in Chapter 4. Dialectal differences in Pashto are primarily phonological in nature. The 
Southwest (Kandahar) dialect makes use of retroflex fricatives /s/ and /z/ and of the 
dental affricates /is/ and /cb/. In other dialects, the retroflex fricatives, and sometimes 
also the dental affricates, are replaced with other phonemes. For example. Southwest 
/s/ is elsewhere pronounced as /s/, /<;/, or /x/, depending on dialect. One result of this 
dialectal variation is the use of both Pakhto and Pashto as Romanized spellings of the 
language’s name. Another result is the assignment of several alternative values to the 
pronunciation of the relevant Pashto letters, shown in Table 3.11 in Section 3.2.1.2. Di¬ 
alectal variation in morphology has also been documented, especially for the dialects 
classified as Middle (M) in Section 4.4, which differ more from other dialects of Pashto 
than the other dialects do among themselves (Hallberg 1992, Lorimer 1902). 


Attrition is more likely in Pakistan, where Pashto is a less dominant language, in which case the 
World Factbook’s estimated 8% Pashto language use would be a more conservative indicator than 
the 15.42% ethnic population. 



Corey Miller and Anne Boyle David 

3 Phonology and Orthography 

3.1 Phonetics and phonology 

3.1.1 Consonants 

3.1.1.1 Inventory 

Pashto has consonants at seven possible places of articulation, as shown in Table 3.1. 
Consonants not used by all speakers are parenthesized. The representation of these 
segments in the written language is discussed in Section 3.2. 



Labial 

Dental 

Palato- 

alveolar 

Retroflex 

Palatal 

Velar 

Glottal 

Stops 

pb 

t d 


t d 


kg 


Affricates 


(ts dz) 

cj 





Fricatives 

(0 

s z 

S(z) 

(s z) 

(fj) 

xy 

h 

Nasals 

m 

n 


n 




Lateral 


l 






Approximants 

w 

r 

y 

r 





Table 3.1: Pashto consonants 


3.1.1.2 “Elegant” consonants 

Depending on how closely speakers wish to approximate Arabic sounds not otherwise 
present in Pashto, they may use what are sometimes called “elegant” consonants. That 
is, when speaking in what they regard as a formal situation, many educated speakers 
will approximate the Arabic pronunciations of those consonants; these are listed in 
Table 3.2. 

Penzl (1955) did not seem to think that the voiced pharyngeal fricative was ever 
pronounced in Pashto; however, Tegey & Robson (1996) reported 41 years later that it 
does occur in some speakers’ formal speech. It is possible that this discrepancy is due 



10 


Phonology and Orthography 


Arabic consonant 

Educated, formal 

Pashto 

Uneducated or informal 

Pashto 

s. glottal stop 

? 

(not pronounced) 

voiced pharyngeal fricative 

for? 

(not pronounced) 

voiceless pharyngeal fricative 

h 

h (or not pronounced) 

<j voiceless uvular stop 

q 

k 


Table 3.2: “Elegant,” or formal, consonants 


to an ongoing linguistic change under Arabic influence or to a difference between the 
dialects being reported on. Elfenbein (1997: 742) notes that /h/ is often dropped and is 
only retained in some dialects as an “elegance”. 



Phonetics and phonology 


11 


3.1.2 Vowels 
3.1.2.1 Inventory 

Most dialects of Pashto have seven vowels and seven diphthongs (Heston, 1992), as 
shown in Table 3.3 and Table 3.4. 



Front 

Central 

Back 

High 

i 


u 

Mid 

e 

9 

0 

Low 

a 


a 


Table 3.3: Pashto vowels 



Front 

Central 

Back 

High 



uy 

Mid 


ay 

oy 

Low 

ay ay aw aw 




Table 3.4: Pashto diphthongs 


3.1.2.2 Vowel transcription 

For the sake of comparison with other sources, we provide the corresponding tran¬ 
scriptions of the vowel sounds in Table 3.5. Note that Tegey and Robson’s distinction 
between both /i/ and /i/ (row 1) and /u/ and /u/ (row 2) may correlate with the pres¬ 
ence or absence of ^ and j respectively in the spelling of the word (see Section 3.1.2.3). 
Penzl, who describes the Kandahari dialect, makes a distinction between /ey/ for ^ 
and /ei/ for and does not include /oy/ in his inventory. 





12 


Phonology and Orthography 


This grammar 

Example 

IPA 

Penzl 

Tegey and 
Robson 

i 

imtihan ‘test’ 

i 

i 

■> > 

u 

j\ urdu ‘army’ 

u 

u 

u, u 

e 

^ ye ‘you are’ 

e 

ee 

e 

9 

Oj Z3 ‘1’ 

9 

e 

9 

0 

jjl or, wor‘fire’ 

0 

00 

0 

a 

las ‘ten’ 

a 

a 

a 

a 

JIT kal ‘year’ 

a 

aa 

a 

uy 

duy‘they’ 

uj 

uy 

uy 

9y 

lakay ‘tail’ 

aj 

ey, ei 

ay 

oy 

jj zoy ‘son’ 

oj 

uy 

oy 

ay 

lJj** saray‘man’ 

aj 

ay 

ay 

ay 

(j\J- ebay ‘place’ 

aj 

aay 

ay 

aw 

jj yaw ‘one’ 

aw 

aw 

aw 

aw 

sjjlj wawra ‘snow’ 

QW 

aaw 

aw 


Table 3.5: Comparison amongvoweltranscription systems 



Phonetics and phonology 


13 


3.1.2.3 “Elegant” vowels 

Persian or Arabic loanwords that contain an etymologically long /!/ or /u/ (spelled 
with <_£ marufa ye and jwdw, respectively) are sometimes pronounced with long vowels 
by educated speakers, or speakers of the Northeastern dialect (Section 4.3). Like some 
consonants in Arabic loanwords, these may be called “elegant” vowels. Due to varia¬ 
tion in pronunciation, the short vowels /i/ and /u/ are now sometimes represented in 
Pashto writing with ^ and j, despite the usual convention of not representing short 
vowels in Arabic scripts. 


3.1.2.4 Middle dialect vowels 

The vowel inventory for the Middle dialects described in Chapter 4 differs slightly from 
that described in Section 3.1.2.1 and Section 3.1.2.2. One issue is the phenomenon de¬ 
scribed as “Waziri Metaphony” in Section 4.4. In Table 3.6, we compare three treat¬ 
ments of the M vowel system, by Septfonds (1994), Lorimer (1902), and Hallberg (1992). 
While the objects of study in each of those works are slightly different, they all fall un¬ 
der the M rubric as described in Chapter 4. In order to compare these treatments to 
each other, we provide example words representing each class of sounds. For these, 
we have provided Pashto script reflecting the General Pashto pronunciation; however, 
to our knowledge, there exists no systematic representation of M pronunciation using 
Pashto script. 

There does not seem to be a reliable contrast in M between /o/ and /u/. Lorimer 
and Hallberg distinguish between /a/ and /a/, whereas Septfonds does not. Septfonds 
distinguishes between /ay/ and /ay/, whereas Lorimer does not. As can be seen in Ta¬ 
ble 3.6, Lorimer makes some additional distinctions compared to the others. For exam¬ 
ple, Lorimer uses e as a variant of his e before /r/. Lorimer’s use of ii (presumably IPA 
/y/) as a variant of /i/, and 6 (presumably IPA /o/) as a variant of /e/ may reveal that 
there existed “midway” points between the GP vowels and their metaphony targets 
(see Section 4.4). We have provided two examples of the /e/ vowel: one that shares an 
/e/ with other dialects of Pashto, and another that represents the metaphony target 
corresponding with GP /o/. Lorimer also employs a sequence of two symbols, an, to 
indicate /a/. 



14 


Phonology and Orthography 


This grammar 

Example 

IPA 

Septfonds 

Lorimer 

Hallberg 

i 

jjs lir‘daughter’ 

i 

i 

i, I, u 

i 


der ‘many’, 



e, e, 6 



jy mer‘mother’ 




9 

ij Z3 ‘1’ 

9 

9 

e, e, u 

A 

0 

j'ij plor ‘father’ 

0 

0 

0 

0 

a 

y sar‘head’ 

a 

a 

a 

A 

3 

c-iL< myast 



5 


a 

‘month’ 



a 


a 

yjj watapa ‘1 
close’ 

a 


an 


9y 

Imasay 

‘granddaughter’ 


ay 

ai 


ay 

tjy saray 
‘man’ 

aj 

ay 

ai 

ai, Ai 

aw 

_j]j palaw ‘side’ 

aw 

aw 

au 



Table 3.6: Comparison among M vowel transcription systems 



Orthography 


15 


3.1.3 Stress 

Word stress in Pashto is assigned lexically. In our transcription of Pashto, we indicate 
stressed syllables by putting an acute accent mark over the vowel portion: /saray/ 

‘man’, ajJ /zaba/ ‘tongue’. Some words differ only by the placement of stress, as with 
the pronouns Ai* /haya/ ‘he/she/it’ vs. aAa /haya/ ‘that’, or continuous versus aorist 
forms among second and third conjugation verbs (Section 8.2.5.4 and Section 8.2.5.5). 
In this grammar we generally only indicate stress in paradigms and on particular lexi¬ 
cal items in example sentences where its placement sheds light on meaning, or when 
relevant to the discussion . 


3.2 Orthography 

The languages of the world vary along a scale of the ease with which one may de¬ 
duce pronunciation from orthography, or the spelling from the pronunciation. This 
is known as orthographic depth (Sproat, 2000: 6). On a spectrum of depth, Spanish 
may be considered fairly shallow, or easy to pronounce, and Chinese would be con¬ 
sidered especially deep. Pashto would fall somewhere near English on such a scale, 
though the difficulties of deducing pronunciation from spelling (and vice versa) are 
somewhat different, as will be described below. 1 


3.2.1 The script 

Pashto is written primarily in the Perso-Arabic script, which includes modifications 
made for Persian, as well as additions specific to Pashto. Like those scripts, and un¬ 
like, for example, the Devanagari script in which Hindi is written, the Pashto script 
is in theory an abjad (Daniels & Bright, 1996), in which the letters represent only the 
consonants of the language. However, like the Arabic and Persian scripts, the Pashto 
alphabet deviates from the strict definition of an abjad in that some letters can also 
be used to indicate vowel sounds. For example, the letter I alif, which is used to write 
both long /a/ and an initial glottal stop in Arabic, is also used in Pashto to represent 
the vowel /a/. The letter j wdw, which writes both /w/ and /u/ in Arabic, can be used to 
represent /w/, /u/, or /o/ in Pashto; and ^ ye, which writes both /y/ and /!/ in Arabic, 
can be used in Pashto for /y/, /i/, and even (with modification to the letter), /e/ and 
several other sounds, which can be seen in Table 3.10. 

As with other Arabic-based writing systems, the Pashto script is written from right 
to left, but numerals are written left to right. The script is cursive, and letters may have 


1 More on issues that arise from a deep orthography, in particular variations in spelling, can be 
found at Appendix A, Section A.4. 



16 


Phonology and Orthography 


up to four allographs: the independent form, which is unconnected to other letters; 
the initial form, connected only on the left; the medial form, connected on both sides; 
and the final form, connected only on the right. (In most word processors, Unicode ren¬ 
dering automatically displays the proper positional form.) Some letters do not connect 
to the letter to their left; in these cases the initial and independent forms are the same, 
as are the medial and final forms. (See the tables of letters in Section 3.2.1.2.) 


3.2.1.1 Letters unique to Pashto 

Due to its particular consonant and vowel inventory, Pashto has innovated several let¬ 
ters not present in either Arabic or Persian. To represent the retroflexes /d n r t/, Pashto 
employs a diacritic known as a /pandak/ or /yarwanday/ ‘ring’ on the 

letters used for the dentals, as shown in Table 3.7. 


Letter 

Sound 

i 

d 

0 

n 

4 

r 

s- 1 

t 


Table 3.7: Pashto retroflex letters with pandak 


Pashto has innovated two letters employing a dot above and below j and ^. These 
letters represent retroflex sounds in the Kandahar (Southwest) dialect, but other sounds 
elsewhere, as displayed in Table 3.8. Further pronunciations of these letters, particu¬ 
larly in the Northwest dialects, are discussed in Chapter 4. 

The two letters in Table 3.9 are based on ^ and represent the affricates /ts/ and 
/cfe/ in some dialects, but in others they have been simplified to the fricatives /s/ and 
/z/, as discussed in Chapter 4. 

Finally, Pashto employs a set of five letters based on which have a range of 
phonetic and morphological values, as expressed in Table 3.10. Note that in much text 
encountered on the internet and elsewhere, ^ or ^ may be used in place of the other 
forms, without affecting the expected pronunciation. 



Orthography 


17 


Letter Sound 

j z Kandahar (Southwest), z Quetta (Southeast), g Peshawar 

(Northeast) 

jf _ s Kandahar (Southwest), s Quetta (Southeast), x Eastern 

Table 3.8: Pashto letters with dot below and dot above 


Letter 


Sound 


ts (Southwest, Southeast), s (Northwest, Northeast) 
<± (Southwest, Southeast), z (Northwest, Northeast) 


Table 3.9: Pashto affricate letters based on r- 


Letter 

Sound 

Function/comments 


ay 

word-finally 


a 

word-finally in some words derived from 
Arabic, such as ^js>- hata ‘even’. This is 
known as atifmaqsura. 

cS 

i.y 



e 



ay 

word-finally in feminine nouns and 
adjectives 

Cs 

ay 

word-finally in verbal forms 


not pronounced or ? 

word-medially in some Perso-Arabic 
borrowings such as masala 

‘problem’ 


Table3.10: Pashto letters based on (j 



18 


Phonology and Orthography 


3.2.1.2 Tables of letters and numerals 

The full list of Pashto letters is given in Table 3.11. Sources differ on some of the names 
for Pashto letters, or give more than one. These differences are due in part to regional 
variation in how the letters are pronounced and in part to variation in how the Pashto 
has been Romanized. To aid in letter identification, we have listed a variety of possible 
Romanized names. Where practical, we have indicated the most common pronuncia¬ 
tions of the letters; where there is further variation we refer to the relevant sections. 
The pronunciations listed in parentheses are the formal pronunciations described in 
Section 3.1.1.2. Note that some of the symbols listed here (e.g. I alif mad and a he- 
hamza ) are not considered separate letters from their counterparts without diacritics 
(e.g. I alif and a he); we list them separately here for ease of reference. Letter names 
that end in a vowel or diphthong are grammatically feminine, while letter names that 
end in a consonant are grammatically masculine. 

Following are some remarks on particular letters. I aleftanwin appears word-finally 
in adverbs derived from Arabic, e.g. L >yj /taqriban/ ‘approximately’. The letter j 
waw is also transcribed as /v/ in some sources, such as Shafeev (1964). The letter j 
waw-hamza appears word-medially in Perso-Arabic borrowings such as /swal, 
suwal/ ‘question’. When appearing word-finally, the letter a he may represent a vowel 
such as /a/ or /a/. The letter ye is also commonly used when referring to the letter 
ye in general, as in a section of a dictionary. It thus can be used to encompass y. mar- 
ufa ye In this usage, it would be called simply ye. The name marufa ye for the letter 
<_£ means ‘known ye’, reflecting the fact that its sound, /i/, was known in Arabic. The 
name majhula ye for the letter y means ‘unknown ye’, reflecting the fact that its sound, 
/e/, was unknown in Arabic, the names for the letter y include the words for ‘femi¬ 
nine’ ( sddkina tanis, muanasa) and ‘heavy’ ( saqila ). The names for the letter y include 
kdrwala and feli, meaning ‘verbal’, tazkir meaning ‘masculine’, and saqila meaning 
‘heavy’. 

Some of the letters are used chiefly in Arabic loanwords, or in loanwords based on 
Arabic. The halwa he, for example, appears in Arabic loanwords which are spelled 
with this letter in Arabic, and in borrowings from Persian in which one of the mor¬ 
phemes is Arabic: o j\y~y_ /purhararat/ ‘ardent, emotional’, which is composed of a 
Persian prefix/pur/ ‘full’ and an Arabic root Ojl y~ /hararat/ ‘heat’. The other /h/ 
sound, a he, is used in native Pashto words, as well as in Arabic and Persian loanwords 
which are spelled with this letter. Representing /s/, the letters o se and sad are 
found in the Arabic/Persian component of the vocabulary, while y sin is found in the 
native component as well. Representing /t/, the letter _Ls ta is found in the Arabic/Per¬ 
sian component of the vocabulary, while o te is also found in the native component. 
Finally, representing /z/, the letters i zal, jp zad, and Is za are found in the Ara¬ 
bic/Persian component of the vocabulary, while j ze is found in the native component 
as well. 



Orthography 


19 


Table 3.11: Pashto alphabet 


Unicode 

Pashto 

script 

Name 

IPA 

Penzl 

Tegey 

and 

Robson 

This 

grammar 

U+0627 

1 

alif 

see Section 3.2.1.3 



U+0622 

T 

alif mad 

a 

aa 

a 

a 

U+0627| 
U+064B 

I 

alif 

tanwin 

an 

an 

an 

an 

U+0628 


be 

b 

b 

b 

b 

U+067E 


pe 

P 

P 

P 

P 

U+062A 

o 

te 

t 

t 

t 

t 

U+067C 


t e 

t 

tt 

t 

t 

U+062B 

o 

se 

s 

s 

s 

s 

U+062C 

C 

jim 

d3 

cfeh 

j 

j 

U+0686 

(L 

ce/cim 

tf 

tsh 

ch 

c 

U+0681 

t 

dze/dzim/ze 

cfe/z 

cfe 

ct 

cfe/z 

U+0685 

t 

tse/tsim/se 

ts/s 

ts 

ts 

ts/s 

U+062D 

C 

he/halwa 

he 

mm 

0/h/(h) 

0/h/(h) 

mm 

U+062E 

c 

xe 

X 

kh 

kh 

X 

U+062F 

$ 

dal 

d 

d 

d 

d 

U+0689 


dal 

4 

dd 

d 

d 

U+0630 

i 

zal 

z 

z 

z 

z 

U+0631 

J 

re 

r 

r 

r 

r 

U+0693 

4 

re 

1 

rr 

r 

r 

U+0632 

J 

ze 

z 

z 

z 

z 

U+0698 

J 

ze 

3/d3/z 

zh 

zh/j/z 

z/j/z 

U+0696 

4 

?e/ge 

4/3/i/g 

zz 

g 

?/z/i/g 

U+0633 

U* 

sin 

s 

s 

s 

s 

U+0634 

J 1 

sin 

I 

sh 

sh 

s 



20 


Phonology and Orthography 


Table 3.11: (continued) 


Unicode 

Pashto 

script 

Name 

IPA 

Penzl 

Tegey 

and 

Robson 

This 

grammar 

U+069A 


sin/xin 

5/x 

ss 

X 

S/x 

U+0635 

u* 

sad/swad/ 

sxwat/swa 

s 

s 

s 

s 

U+0636 

J* 

zad/zwad/ 

z 

z 

z 

z 



zxwat/zwa 





U+0637 


ta/twe/ 

txwe/ 

toy/twa 

t 

t 

t 

t 

U+0638 

J? 

za/zwe/ 

zywe/ 

zoy/zwa 

z 

z 

z 

z 

U+0639 

t 

?ayn/ayn 

P)/(S) 


? 

see 

Section 

3.2.1.3 

and 

Section 

3.1.1.2 

U+063A 

l 

yayn 

V 

gh 

gh 

V 

U+0641 


fe 

f 

f 

f 

f 

U+0642 

J 

qaf/qaf 

k/(q) 

q 

q 

k/(q) 

U+06A9 

.jr 

kaf/kaf 

k 

k 

k 

k 

U+06AB 


gaf 

g 

g 

g 

g 

U+0644 

J 

lam 

1 

l 

i 

i 

U+0645 

f 

mim 

m 

m 

m 

m 

U+0646 

0 

nun 

n 

n 

n 

n 

U+06BC 


nun 

q 

nn 

n 

n 

U+0648 

j 

waw 

w/o/u 

w 

w/u/o 

w/u/o 

U+0624 

j 

waw- 

hamza 

0/w 



0/w 

U+0647 

0 

he/ha 

h 

h 

h 

h 




Orthography 


21 


Table 3.11: (continued) 


Unicode 

Pashto 

Name 

IPA 

Penzl 

Tegey 

This 


script 




and 

Robson 

grammar 


U+06C0 S 


U+06CC <j 


U+064A 


U+06D0 <j 


U+06CD 


U+0626 


he(/ha)- a 
hamza / 
zwarakai 

ye/ya / aj 

mulayana 

ye 

(/ya)/prata 
ye (/ya) 

saxta ye i/y 

(/ya) 

/klaka ye 
(/ya) 

/marufa 

ye(/ya) 

pasta ye e 

(/ya) 

/majhula 
ye (/ya) 

sactina aj 

ye (/ya) 

/saqila/ 
de tanis 
saqila ye 
(/ya) 

/mua- 
nasa 
saqila ye 
(/ya) 

karwala aj 

ye (/ya) 

/ye (/ya)- 
hamza/ 
feli ye 
(/ya) /de 
tazkir 
saqila ye 
(/ya/) 


e 


a 


ay ay 


a (see 

Section 

3.2.3) 

ay (see 

Table 

3.10) 


i/y i/y i/y (see 

Section 
3.2.1.3) 


ee e 


e 


ei oy By 


ey By By 




22 


Phonology and Orthography 


Positional variants for each letter are shown in Table 3.12. In keeping with the di¬ 
rectionality of the script, the initial-position form is on the right. In addition to the 
positional variants of individual letters, the script includes an obligatory digraph, 
used for the sequence of lam + alif. 

The Eastern Arabic numerals, which are used in Pashto, are given in Table 3.13. 
Numeral forms of compound numbers are given along with the word-form number 
names in Table 6.38. 


Table 3.12: Positional variants of letters 

Independent Final Medial Initial 

form position position position 


i 

L 

L 

\ 



f 

J 



T 

J 

o 


- 

J 

V 1 

sP~ 

- 

4 

o 



J 

E 

e- 


2>- 

E 

(t 


* 

i 

t 

- 


t 

t 

- 

J>- 

c 

c- 

- 

J>- 

c 

Cr 

- 

J>~ 

$ 

X 

JL 

2 

$ 


J- 


j> 

Jl 

Jl. 

3 

J 

X 

X 

J 

4 

X 

X 




Orthography 


23 


Table 3.12: (continued) 

Independent Final Medial Initial 

form position position position 


J 

> 

> 

J 

J 

> 

> 

J 

j 

T 

JT 

J 

u* 

cr- 

— 

- 

J 1 

J- 

— 

- 

J? 

i Jf- 


■* 



'P- 


J* 






Ja- 

J* 

Js> 

Ji_ 



t 

t 


& 

l 

t 


S' 



jL 

i 

J 


A. 

i 


.Jx. 

SC 

<r 


_SC 


f 

J 

J- 

1 

j 

r 

r 

- 


0 

Cr 


j 

J 

J- 

j- 

j 

0 

<L 

-6-or-p. 

j* 



24 


Phonology and Orthography 


Table 3.12: (continued) 


Independent 

Final 

Medial 

Initial 

form 

position 

position 

position 

cS 

cr 

<- 

J 



r 

j 2 


lT 



Cs 

lt 




Arabic numeral 

Pashto (Eastern 
Arabic) numeral 

Unicode 

0 

. 

U+06f0, U+0660 

1 

) 

U+06fl, U+0661 

2 

Y 

U+06f2, U+0662 

3 

r 

U+06f3, U+0663 

4 

f or i 

U+06f4 or U+0664 

5 

e> or o 

U+06f5 or U+0665 

6 

9 or t 

U+06f6 or U+0666 

7 

V 

U+06f7, U+0667 

8 

A 

U+06f8, U+0668 

9 

1 

U+06f9, U+0669 


Table 3.13: Pashto (Eastern Arabic) numerals 


2 This letter does not occur word initially, but may take initial form after a nonjoining letter. 





Orthography 


25 


3.2.1.3 Representation of vowels 

The Arabic script, upon which the Pashto alphabet is based, writes long vowels but 
does not typically indicate short vowels. Most varieties of Pashto, as discussed in Sec¬ 
tion 3.1.2, distinguish only one long vowel, /a/. Words with etymologically long vow¬ 
els are written with their original long vowels, but (except for /a/) usually pronounced 
with vowels that are not distinctively long. For this reason, the vowel pairs /u/ and /o/, 
and /i/ and /e/, are now often represented in Pashto writing with j waw and forms of 
iS ye respectively. 

In many cases, however, the short vowels are not written. Such vowels can po¬ 
tentially be indicated with diacritics placed above or below the consonant letters, but 
these are not used in ordinary writing. The short vowel diacritics, as shown in Table 
3.14 with examples from Shafeev (1964), may occasionally be encountered in native 
dictionaries or in learning materials. The same symbols are used in Arabic in such 
contexts as well as in the Koran and some religious texts. 


Symbol 

Sound 

Example 

Pashto name 

Arabic name 

' r . 

a 

Ju bad ‘bad’ 

Jj zabar .JA> 
zwar 

fatha 

7 

i 

m ' s 

‘copper’ 

jiJ zer 

5kasra 

J*... 

u, 0 

Jj pul‘bridge’ 

j pes, pex 

J~> Pes 

zamma 


Table 3.14: Short vowel diacritics 


3.2.1.3.1 Word-initial vowels 

Words that begin with a vowel sound must begin with either I alif, I alifmad, or 9ayn. 

I alifmad mostly occurs word-initially, and its sound is /a/. When I alif or 9 ayn begin 
a word, they may take on various vowel sounds, as indicated in Table 3.15. 

Word-initially, digraphs may be employed to indicate vowels. The following state¬ 
ments are general guidelines; it is often possible to find exceptions. When an initial I 
alif is followed by ^ marufa ye, the combination is pronounced /i/ or sometimes /ay/. 
(Word initially, ij marufa ye is pronounced /y/.) When an initial I alif is followed by 
majhula ye, the combination is pronounced /e/. When an initial I alif is followed 
by j waw, the combination is usually pronounced either /o/ or /u/, but sometimes it 



26 


Phonology and Orthography 


Sound 

1 alif example 

^ ayn example 

a 

abr ‘cloud’ 

^Jip adas ‘lentil’ 

e 

estoniya‘Estonia’ 
(uncommon) 

p elawa ‘addition’ 
(uncommon) 

i 

sjbl idara‘management’ 

p ilaj ‘cure’ 

0 

otorite ‘authority’ 
(uncommon) 


u 

jl urdu ‘army’ 

iSj-is -p uzwi‘organic’ 


Table 3.15: Word-initial vowels 


is pronounced /aw/. (Word initially j waw is pronounced /w/.) Table 3.16 summarizes 
the most common pronunciation of these initial digraphs. 


Initial digraph 

Sound 

Example 


U, 0 

ajjI oba, uba ‘water’ 

cS' 

i 

Oljjl iran ‘Iran’ 

cS' 

e 

ey‘sticking out’ 


Table 3.16: Pashto initial digraphs 


3.2.1.3.2 Word-internal vowels 

Vowels within words may be spelled with I alif, j waw, j; marufa ye, iS majhula 
ye, or 9 ayn, as shown in Table 3.17, or they may (with the exception of /a/) be un¬ 
written, as is characteristic of abjads. Word-internal I alif is generally pronounced /a/; 
word-internal ^ majhula ye is pronounced /e/; and word-internal 9 ayn generally 
lengthens a preceding /a/ to /a/. Word-internal j waw and ^ marufa ye can each rep¬ 
resent either a consonant, a vowel, or a diphthong. 



Orthography 


27 


Letter 

Sound 

Example 

1 alif 

a 

JU- xal ‘birthmark’ 

j waw 

0 

doday ‘bread’ 


u 

jjs muz ‘we’ sw 


w 

ji\y muwafiq ‘favorable’ 


aw 

pawcfe‘army’ 

tj marufa ye 

i 

hits ‘nothing’ 

(-.in its internal 
form) 

y 

jL piyaz ‘onion’ 


ay 

payse ‘money’ 

(_$ majhula ye 

e 

J-j tel ‘oil’ 

(_ in its internal 
form) 



^ ayn 

lengthens preceding 

a to a 

malum, *— maruf‘known’ 


Table 3.17: Word-internal vowels 





28 


Phonology and Orthography 


3.2.1.3.3 Word-final vowels 

If a Pashto word ends in a vowel sound, it will be written with a final I alif, j waw, a 
he, or <_$ ye. See Table 3.10 and Table 3.11 for the pronunciation of forms of ijye, and 
Table 3.18 for other final vowels. If a written Pashto word ends in any other letter, the 
spoken word will end in the consonant with which it is written, except in the case of 
9 ayn, in which case the final sound is that of the previous letter. 


Letter 

Sound 

Example 

1 alif 

a 

(ya hawa ‘air’ 

a he 

a 

ajJ zaba ‘tongue’ 


a 

aS ta ‘you’ 

j waw 

u 

yatu ‘fat [oblique plural]’ 


0 

j£j\j zango‘cradle’ 


Table 3.18: Word-final vowels 


Note that a final a he may also indicate a final /h/, as in the word a S /kuh/ ‘moun¬ 
tain’, although this is rare. 


3.2.2 Rationale for transcription system 

Pashto text may be rendered into Roman letters through transcription or translitera¬ 
tion. Transliteration is one-for-one mapping of a language’s characters (or character 
combinations) into corresponding Roman characters (or combinations); its goal is to 
accurately represent the spelling of the language. Transcription maps phones; its goal 
is to accurately represent how the language is pronounced. 

Because the Pashto script possesses several distinct letters for each of several seg¬ 
ments, no simple transliteration can preserve Pashto orthography solely through the 
letters of the Roman alphabet. Several extra diacritics or other non-alphabetic charac¬ 
ters would be necessary. A strict transliteration would also leave out the vowels that 
are unwritten in Pashto, leaving the pronunciation unclear. Accordingly, we have cho¬ 
sen to use a broad phonemic transcription, rather than a transliteration. Pashto exam¬ 
ples are transcribed in this version of traditional Pashto transcription, slightly modi¬ 
fied to adhere more closely to the IPA. In this grammar, all non-M dialects of Pashto are 





Orthography 


29 


written in both the Pashto script and our transcription. Examples in Waziri and other 
M dialects may not include Pashto script, since these dialects do not have independent 
orthographic representation. 


3.2.3 Orthographic variation 

The Pashto letter /g/ gaf is sometimes represented as .jf (U+06AF), as it is in 
Persian and Urdu. 

In Urdu, there are two letters whose forms appear differently word-fmally from 
standard Persian and Afghan Pashto, and may be encountered in Pashto emanating 
from Pakistan. The Pashto letter ^ ye in word-final position may appear as ^ (U+06D2) 
for / ay/ oriel, and the letter a he in word-final position may appear as ^(U+06C1). Note 
that these variants may occur in handwriting from various regions. 

Some authors use a he-hamza (U+06C0, referred to in the Unicode documents as 
“Heh with yeh above”) instead of the more usual Heh (U+0647) in final position to in¬ 
dicate /a/ as opposed to /a/, for example to distinguish the masculine direct singular 
demonstrative /haya/ ‘that’ from the masculine oblique singular /haya/. Al¬ 
though in this grammar we do make the /a/-/a/ distinction in our transcription, we use 
a he for both in the Pashto text. 




Corey Miller 

4 Pashto Dialects 

4.1 Introduction 

In this chapter, we describe a set of five dialects of Pashto in order to establish certain 
generalizations as a matter of convenience, noting that we have not exhausted the 
description of dialect differences for this language. We also compare our proposal with 
other approaches that have come up with smaller numbers of dialects. 

Note that Pashto dialects are connected to both geographical facts and tribal iden¬ 
tity. According to Elfenbein (1997: 739), “geographical classification alone does not— 
cannot—take enough account of tribal distinctions...classification by tribe alone fails 
to take into enough account the essential geographical facts.” 


4.2 Characterizing Pashto dialects 

The approach we take in this work assumes five dialects: Southwest (SW), Southeast 
(SE), Northwest (NW), Northeast (NE) and Middle (M). Waziri (WAZ) and Dzadrani 
(DZA) are two subdivisions of Middle Pashto for which we have the most information; 
others are discussed below. The general locations of these dialect areas are illustrated 
in Figure 4.1. We explain the details of these dialects, as well as the marking of dialect 
forms in this text, in the following sections. Here we seek to provide a convenient par¬ 
tition of the data that recognizes salient and reliable distinctions that correlate with 
geography. So, for any given dialect, there may well be many subdialects, whose de¬ 
tails we are not yet in a position to describe. In this way, we may refer to Middle or M 
dialects, rather than the Middle or M dialect, since there may be several speech vari¬ 
eties sharing the general characteristics of Middle Pashto. 



32 


Pashto Dialects 



Figure 4.1: Pashto dialects 


Table 4.1 summarizes the major differences among the five dialects. Note that these 
represent characteristic pronunciations rather than the only possible pronunciations 
for these words in these regions. For specific pronunciations of individual words in 
many cities, see Hallberg (1992), from which many of these forms were gathered. 

Dialectal variation in morphology has also been documented, as in variable use 
of two different stems J £ /krai/ and J S /kawal/ for the verb do (Septfonds, 1989). 
We also see dialectal variation in suffixes; for example, in the second person plural 
suffixes for verbs: c— L /-ast/ in certain present tense forms and all past tense forms 
in Southwest and ^ /-ay/ elsewhere (see Table 8.4). 

As an example of variation in the realization of vowels, according to Elfenbein 
(1997:747), there is a tendency for final unstressed /e/ to be realized as /i/ in Southwest. 
We have observed the following examples of this phenomenon in closed-class items, 
which are often accompanied by the distinct spellings shown in Table 4.2. Note that 
this process tends not to occur where it would eradicate distinctions; for example, the 
second person singular verbal suffix /e/ contrasts in Southwest with the third person 
singular /i/. 




Characterizing Pashto dialects 


33 


Pashto word 

SW 

SE 

NW 

NE 

M 

yyj ‘Pashto’ 

pasto 

pasto 

pafto 

paxto 

pasto 

‘six’ 

spa? 

spaz 

spag 

spag 

spez 

L £y- ‘who’ 

tsok 

tsok 

sok 

sok 

tsek, tsok 

i ‘five’ 

pincfca 

pindza 

pinza 

pinza 

pinza 

y^i ‘hand’ 

las 

las 

las 

las 

los 

jj] ‘daughter’ 

lur 

lur 

lur 

lur 

lir 


Table 4.1: Phonological variation among major Pashto dialects 


SW NW, NE 


iSjy pori ‘to’ 

iSjJi P ore ‘to’ 

bandi ‘on’ 

(^JuL bande ‘on’ 

J Id‘in’ 

y ke ‘in’ 

landi ‘under’ 

JuM lande ‘under’ 

y mi ‘1, me’ 

y me ‘1, me’ 

di ‘you’ 

de ‘you’ 

tasi ‘you’ 

y\S tase ‘you’ 


Table 4.2: Correspondence between /i/ and /e/ in closed-class words 



34 


Pashto Dialects 


Another area where variation in vowels has been noted is in the realization of /i/ 
and /u/. Elfenbein (1997: 750-751) notes that in the Northeast, /i/ and /!/ are separate 
phonemes, as are /u/ and /u/. MacKenzie (1987: 551) observes that this distinction has 
been lost in most dialects, and in this grammar we represent only /i/ and /u/. 

With regard to lexis, we have observed numerous differences across Pashto di¬ 
alects. For example, /yomasa/ ‘mosquito’ sw exists alongside /miasa/ 

‘mosquito’ nw . Hallberg (1992) provides examples of many basic words that differ by 
region, and Pashtoon (2009) indicates when particular words are Eastern or Western 
(see Section 4.5.1 on the use of these terms). 


4.2.1 Dialect marking in this work 

Where possible, we aim to associate Pashto forms with one of the five dialects—SW, SE, 
NW, NE, M—as described in Table 4.1. In some cases, we refer to the four dialects SW, 
SE, NW and NE as General Pashto (GP), in contrast to M. Some discussions of Middle di¬ 
alects use the more specific notation, such as WAZ (for Waziri) and DZA (for Dzadrani) 
when differences within Middle dialects can be or need to be specified (see Section 4.4 
for additional dialect abbreviations within M). Note that in some cases, readers will en¬ 
counter the notation E or W, standing for Eastern and Western. In such cases, we have 
not been able to ascertain a more specific dialect attribution. Eastern generally refers 
to both Northwest and Northeast, while Western refers to Southwest and Southeast. 


4.2.1.1 Dialect marking in tables 

In those sections covering General Pashto, our tables of morphological forms are re¬ 
stricted to the four non-M dialects SW, SE, NW, and NE. In such tables, or with exam¬ 
ple forms mentioned in the text, when no dialect is mentioned, that means that to the 
best of our knowledge the form is acceptable in all four dialects. When we know that 
a form is only acceptable or natural for a subset of those dialects, the dialects associ¬ 
ated with that form are specified. In those sections covering the Middle dialects, if a 
form is known to be acceptable in only DZA or WAZ, it is so labeled. When no dialect 
is mentioned, that means either that the form is acceptable in both WAZ and DZA, or 
we do not have sufficient information to attribute it to one or the other. 


4.2.1.2 Dialect marking in interlinear examples 

In this book, interlinear examples include Pashto script (except for some M-dialect ex¬ 
amples), phonetic transcription, morpheme glosses, and English translations. These 
are generally attested examples, and when possible, we indicate the dialect of the 
speaker who provided the example. This does not necessarily mean that the example 
is only acceptable or natural for that dialect. In the sections covering General Pashto, 



The four dialects of General Pashto 


35 


when interlinear examples are derived from written textual material, such as may be 
found on the internet, we have generally chosen to transcribe them as they might be 
spoken in the Northeastern dialect. 


4.3 The four dialects of General Pashto 

Mackenzie (1959) provided an influential four-dialect analysis using the cardinal points: 
Southwest, Southeast, Northwest, and Northeast. It is useful to note that Southwest 
and Northwest appear to be in Afghanistan, while Southeast and Northeast appear to 
be in Pakistan. He calls Southwest Kandahar, and Northeast Yusufzai, using the name 
for the tribe centered in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly Northwest Fron¬ 
tier) province. Mackenzie calls the Northwest dialect Central Ghilzai, after the name of 
a tribe mainly found in the vicinity of Ghazni and Zabol provinces (Frye 2010, Hanifi 
2001). “Central” Ghilzai may refer to the members of the tribe in those provinces, rather 
than to those living in the northern provinces of Faryab and Badakhshan. The remain¬ 
ing dialect in Mackenzie’s model is Southeast, which he associates with Quetta, Pak¬ 
istan. The Southeast dialect is characterized by a loss of retroflexion in and j with 
respect to the Southwest dialect, resulting in the pronunciations /s/ and /z/, respec¬ 
tively. Thus they are pronounced identically to the way the letters and J are pro¬ 
nounced in the Southeast dialect. Note that Kieffer (1974) associates this characteristic 
with Ghazni in Afghanistan. Table 4.3, based on Mackenzie and its reprise by Skjaervp 
(1989), as well as Elfenbein (1997), lays out the principal phonological characteristics 
of the four dialects comprising this approach. Henderson (1983) similarly presents a 


Letter 


Southwest Southeast Northwest Northeast 

(SW) (SE) (NW) (NE) 


c? 

j 

t 

t 


<± 


dz 


Table 4.3: Four dialects of General Pashto 


four-dialect approach, referring to the Kandahar, Quetta, Peshawar, and Northeast di- 



36 


Pashto Dialects 


alects. Henderson’s Northeast is akin to Mackenzie’s Northwest. Henderson’s North¬ 
east has /g/ for j, with /j./ restricted to Wardak province, a feature mentioned in Penzl. 
It is also compatible with the Eastern dialect described in Penzl (1955) and with the 
Central dialect described in Tegey & Robson (1996). Therefore, we may expect to see 
both HI and /g/ for j in dialects labeled Northwest in our dialect schema. 

Note that we have seen some variation in the description of the sounds correspond¬ 
ing to the letter J. As noted in Table 4.3, Tegey & Robson (1996) have associated / z/ with 
the Northwest dialect, while Elfenbein (1997: 744) describes some /z/ along with /j/ 
in the Northeast dialect. With respect to vowels and diphthongs, Skjacrvp (1989: 386) 
notes that in Northeast, the diphthong /ay/ is monophthongized to /e:/, while the diph¬ 
thong /ay/ is pronounced /ay/. Elfenbein (1997:744) provides a substantial amount of 
information on the quality of vowels and diphthongs across several dialects. Table 
4.4 presents the tribal and geographical associations for each of these four dialects 
according to Elfenbein (1997). 


Dialect 

Geography 

Tribe 

SW 

Kandahar, Farah, Herat 

South Ghilzai 

SE 

southern NWFP(Khyber 
Pakhtunkhwa), Baluchistan 
(includes Quetta) 

Sherani, Bannu, Waziri, Kakari, 
Achakzai, Tarin, Wanetsi 

NW 

east and northeast Afghanistan, 
Jalalabad (?) 

central Ghilzai, some Afridi 

NE 

Peshawar, part of Nangarhar 
province (Afghanistan), 
northern parts of NWFP (Khyber 
Pakhtunkhwa) 

Shinwari, Yusufzai, Mohmand, 
northeast Ghilzay, Hazara, 
Bangash, Orakzay, some Afridi 


Table 4.4: Tribal and geographical associations by dialect 


4.3.1 International differences 

In her grammar, Heston (1992) sometimes distinguishes between Afghan and Pakistani 
Pashto from the perspective of orthography. For example, in Afghanistan the Pashto 
word for son is spelled (j jj, while in Pakistan it can be spelled jj , even though the 
two variants are pronounced similarly. In the area of word choice, in addition to the 
more distinctive Pashto convention for expressing thanks, /manana/ ‘gratitude’ 





The Middle dialects 


37 


(literally compliance, submission), Afghan Pashto speakers tend to use/tasakur/, 
the Dari/Tajiki word for thanks, whereas Pakistani Pashto speakers are more inclined 
to use 4 j /sukriya/, the Urdu word; the Dari/Tajiki and Urdu words share the same 
Arabic root. In general, the dialects of Afghanistan exhibit more loanwords and cog¬ 
nates from neighboring Persian/Dari and Turkic, while the dialects of Pakistan exhibit 
more loanwords from Urdu. 


4.4 The Middle dialects 

Apart from the four dialects discussed in Section 4.3, there is another dialect group 
which Kieffer (1974) refers to as intermediary or central, also using the Pashto term 
/mancbanay/ ‘middle’. We refer to this collection of “middle” dialects as M. 
These dialects are primarily noted for differences in the pronunciation of vowels with 
respect to the GP dialects. In this section, we describe the main vocalic and conso¬ 
nantal characteristics of M; succeeding chapters will describe its morphological and 
syntactic features. We distinguish two main variants of M, based on available descrip¬ 
tions. One of these descriptions is Lorimer (1902), which describes Waziri (WAZ), a 
dialect spoken in North and South Waziristan in Pakistan’s Federally Administered 
Tribal Areas (FATA), and the Bannu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly North- 
West Frontier Province, or NWFP). The other is Septfonds (1994), which describes Dzad- 
rani (which we abbreviate DZA), spoken in the southwestern part of Khost Province 
(Paktiya at the time of Septfonds’ writing) in Afghanistan. Hallberg (1992) discusses a 
“Central Group” of dialects that correspond to M. He provides fieldwork data for Wana 
(WAN) in South Waziristan, Miran Shah (MIR) in North Waziristan, and three sites in 
adjoining areas of the NWFP: Lakki Marwat (LAK), Bannu (BAN) and Karak (KAR). 


4.4.1 Middle dialect vowels 

The Middle dialects are characterized by a phenomenon known as Waziri metaphony. 
This phenomenon involves certain deviations from the vowel qualities attested in the 
other dialects as described in Table 4.5. 

The term metaphony for this phenomenon has been used at least since Kieffer 
(1974). In this case, it seems to be a bit of a misnomer, given that metaphony, or umlaut, 
is generally taken to be the modification of one vowel due to the influence of a neigh¬ 
boring vowel (perhaps with intervening consonants). Given the absence of neighbor¬ 
ing vowels in the monosyllabic examples in Table 4.5, a more apt term might be “vowel 
shift,” along the lines of processes described by Labov (1994) and others. However, we 
use the term metaphony here in order to maintain a link with previous studies. 

There are two phonetic processes that are involved in Waziri metaphony: raising 
and fronting. In the case of GP /a/, it raises to /o/, while in the cases of GP /o/ and 



38 


Pashto Dialects 


Correspondence 

GP (NE, NW, SE, SW) 

Waziri metaphony (M) 

a ~ o 

j%_ plar‘father’ 

plor 

o ~ e 

jy mor ‘mother’ 

mer 

u ~ i 

lur‘daughter’ 

lir 


Table 4.5: Waziri metaphony 


/u/, they front to /e/ and /i/, respectively. Three important observations with regard 
to metaphony should be made: there may be words where it does not occur; it may be 
optional (subject to sociolinguistic variation); and some speakers or locales may use 
intermediate vowel realizations between segments identified as GP and the metaphony 
targets described in Table 4.5. Lorimer (1902) provides good examples of all of these ob¬ 
servations. He employs the symbol /a/ in some words, such as /myast/ ‘month’. 

Indeed, for this word, Septfonds (1994) uses /a/ and Hallberg (1992) uses /a/, so none 
of these sources indicates that metaphony has occurred in this word. For some words, 
Lorimer (1902) provides two pronunciations, indicating that metaphony may be op¬ 
tional in particular words, such as /mioni, miani/ Tong purse’. 

As noted in Section 3.1.2.4, Lorimer occasionally employs the symbols u and 5, 
which we believe correspond to IPA /y/ and /o/ (see Figure 4.2), in words that in Gen¬ 
eral Pashto would contain /u/ and /o/, respectively. Examples include jy /mer, mpr/ 
‘mother’ and 0/spyn/ ‘shepherd’. As mentioned in Table 4.5, /i/ is the metaphony 
target of GP /u/, while /y/ appears to represent an intermediate point between /u/ and 
I'll. Along the same lines, /e/ is the metaphony target of GP /o/, while /o/ appears to 
represent an intermediate point between /o/ and /e/. Kieffer (1974) also describes sev¬ 
eral intermediate points between the metaphony targets that have been observed in 
different locations in the Middle dialect area. 



The Middle dialects 


39 


Front Back 

unround round unround round 



Figure 4.2: Waziri metaphony 


4.4.2 Middle dialect consonants 

While the two Middle subdialects Waziri and Dzadrani share certain characteristics 
with each other that are not seen in the other Pashto dialects, they pattern differently 
with respect to the consonantal distinctions that distinguish the other dialects. For ex¬ 
ample, Lorimer does not provide Pashto script, but we can infer from his vocabulary 
that words spelled with are pronounced with /s/ in the Waziri dialect, while words 
spelled with j are pronounced with /z/. So this pattern aligns with the Southeast di¬ 
alect. In contrast, in Dzadrani, j* is pronounced as a palatal /f/, while j is pronounced 
as a palatal /j J, a pattern that aligns with the Northwest dialect. Kieffer (1974:25) men¬ 
tions that other possibilities exist for Middle dialects, including /x/ for j* and /g/ for 
j, thus aligning those dialects with the Northeast dialect. 

Table 4.6, based on data from Septfonds (1994) and Lorimer (1902), illustrates 
some other consonantal features of the Middle dialects. In some cases, Pashtoon (2009) 
has identified the “standard” or GP terms as Eastern and the “M” terms as Western, in¬ 
dicating that these phenomena may not be exclusive to the Middle dialect area. Where 
relevant, we have provided these indications in the table. 



40 


Pashto Dialects 


Phenomenon 

GP 

M 

b ~ w 

Ix-j bega‘last night’ 

wega, wega 

n ~ 1 

nmar‘sun’(Eastern) 

Imar (Western) 

epenthetic n after m 

oJu moda, mudda ‘time’ 

minda 

palatalization 

jN lar‘road’ 

lyar, lyar 


Table 4.6: Middle dialect consonantal deviation from GP 


4.5 Other approaches 

One will encounter other less granular models of Pashto dialectology and it is useful 
to be familiar with their terminology and how they are associated with the approach 
described here. For example the ISO 639-3 standard (Lewis, 2009) recognizes the fol¬ 
lowing codes: pbt (Southern), pbu (Northern), and pst (Central), and Kieffer (1974) uses 
the letters A, B, C and D. These codes are compared to our approach in Table 4.7. 


This book Kieffer 


ISO 639-3 


NE, NW 

A 

pbu (Northern) 

M 

B 

pst (Central) 

SW, SE 

C, D 

pbt (Southern) 


Table 4.7: Alternative dialect codes 


4.5.1 Two dialects 

Earlier approaches recognized only two dialects. For example, Darmesteter (1888) de¬ 
scribes two dialects, north and south, based on the pronunciation of the letters j* and 







Other approaches 


41 


j. In the north, these are pronounced /x/ and /g/, respectively, while in the south, fol¬ 
lowing his account, they are pronounced /s/ and /z/. For the southern dialect, Darmes- 
teter does not note the distinction between the southeastern palatal and southwestern 
retroflex pronunciations of j* and j, as subsequent researchers do (see Table 4.3). Note 
that the name of the language itself reflects one of these distinctive alternations: in the 
north it is y^j /paxto/ ‘Pashto’, while in the south it is y^j /pasto/ ‘Pashto’. Geiger 
(1895) also identifies two dialects that he calls northern and southern. He associates 
the northern dialect with the tribes of Kabul, Peshawar, and Swat, and the southern 
with the tribes of the west and south. He notes the same contrasts as Darmesteter, but 
also adds that for the letter j, where southern has /z/, northern has /)/, and the Ghilzai 
tribe has /z/. 

Grierson (1921: 7) refers to a northeastern and a southwestern dialect, again dis¬ 
tinguishing on the basis of the pronunciation of the letters j* and j. He notes that the 
most important nonstandard forms are the varieties of the northeastern dialect spoken 
by the Ghilzais and the Afridis, and the variety of the southwestern dialect spoken by 
the Waziris. In fact, Waziri is distinct enough from Northeastern and Southwestern that 
he provides a standard word list for three varieties of Pashto: Northeastern (Peshawar), 
Waziri (Waziristan), and Southwestern (Pishin and Kandahar). Grierson provides a col¬ 
ored map with the two dialects—northeastern and southwestern—distinguished, and 
a rather detailed description of their boundary: 

... we may take the southern limit of the great Ghilzai tribe as the line in Afghanistan proper, 
although the two dialects probably overlap to a certain extent... Ghilzais speak the northeast¬ 
ern dialect, while the southwestern one is spoken by all Afghans south of this line and west¬ 
wards towards Herat. It is said to run from a stone bridge (Pul-e-Sang) at Asia Hazara, 12 miles 
south of Kalat-i Ghilzai to just north of Maruf, and thence north of the Lowana country to the 
Kundil-Kundar confluence, and then along the Kundar to the boundary line running in a north¬ 
easterly direction up to near Peshawar, so as to give the Waziris and Khataks to Pashto. In and 
around the city of Ghazni the people speak Persian, but the Afghan dialect of the neighbor¬ 
hood is the Northeastern Pakhto. 

Among more contemporary scholars, Shafeev (1964) refers to an eastern dialect 
centered in Peshawar, and a western dialect centered in Kandahar. This is the same ter¬ 
minology employed by Raverty (1859: viii). Most adherents of the two-dialect approach 
focus primarily on differences in the pronunciation of the letters j* and j. Table 4.8 
summarizes some of the different names used for these two dialects, including C and 
A, as explained above. 

Interestingly, implicit proponents of a two-dialect approach as “hard” and “soft” 
differ on their characterization of Ghilzai. For example, Caroe (1958: xvi) says the Ghil¬ 
zai speak a soft dialect, like the Durranis, while Anderson (1975: 576) says they speak 
a hard dialect. 

The presence of distinct phonemes corresponding to distinct letters in the South¬ 
western dialect leads to two questions: which is the most prestigious dialect, and which 
is the most conservative? Penzl (1955: 9-10) cites a few sources implying that Kanda- 



42 


Pashto Dialects 


5-J ? 

X >J s 

Southern 

Northern 

Western 

Eastern 

Southwestern 

Northeastern 

Pashto 

Pakhto 

soft 

hard 

C 

A 


Table 4.8: Names for components of a two-dialect analysis of Pashto 


hari (Southwestern) is the most prestigious, and then goes on to call it “the cradle of 
the Pashto alphabet” due to the correspondence between letters and phonemes, par¬ 
ticularly j* and j with the retroflex /s/ and /z/ (which are in fact only represented by 
those letters), in contrast to Northeastern where the pronunciations of those letters, /x/ 
and/g/, are shared with the letters r- and ,jf, respectively. However, MacKenzie (1959: 
233) cites Morgenstierne’s hypothesis (Morgenstierne, 1932) that at the time of the cre¬ 
ation of the current alphabet in the 16th century. Northeastern dialects pronounced 
j* and j with the retroflex /s/ and /z/ as well, and that the Northeastern tribes were 
probably the creators of Pashto literature. 


4.5.2 Three dialects 

There are two principal ways in which the Pashto-speaking regions have been divided 
into three main dialects. One of these treats the three dialects as a continuum, with a 
central dialect serving as intermediate between eastern and western. The other main¬ 
tains the distinction between eastern and western and introduces a third category, the 
Middle dialects, which are distinctive in ways beyond the treatment of individual con¬ 
sonants. 

Penzl (1955: 8) distinguishes the following “main types which approach regional 
standards:” Peshawar, Eastern, and Kandahar. The difference between such an ap¬ 
proach and the two-dialect approach discussed in Section 4.5.1 is that the Eastern di¬ 
alects of the two-dialect approach have been further subdivided along the Pakistan/ 



Other approaches 


43 


Afghanistan border into Peshawar and Eastern (Afghanistan), corresponding to our 
NE and NW, respectively. Kandahar corresponds to our SW dialect, and Peshawar to 
our NE. These are shown in Table 4.9. In some ways, the Eastern dialect can be seen 


Letter Kandahar (SW) Eastern (NW) Peshawar (NE) 


J 




x 


J 


g 


g 


t 


ts 


ts 


s 


L 


cfc 


z 


z 


Table 4.9: Eastern and Peshawar dialects compared 


as an intermediate step in a continuum from Kandahar to Peshawar. For example, the 
preservation of /ts/ in the Eastern dialect is akin to Kandahar Pashto, and the East¬ 
ern pronunciation of j* as a palatal can be seen as an intermediate step between 
the retroflex /s/ of Kandahar and the velar /x/ of Peshawar. Penzl notes a few addi¬ 
tional variants within the Eastern dialect. For example, in Wardak, j is pronounced as 
a palatal /j./, the voiced counterpart to /<;/. In Logar, £is /s/ as in Peshawar, and in 
the verb to be is /s/, as it is in Kandahar, rather than /§/: p-d /sam, sam/ ‘I am, I can’ 
(see also Section 8.2.8.1). 

Tegey & Robson (1996) also posit a three-dialect system. Like Penzl, they refer to 
a Kandahar or Western dialect. However, they divide the other two slightly differently 
from Penzl. They refer to a Kabul or Central dialect and a Nangarhar or Eastern dialect. 
Based on the features associated with these, we can see that Penzl’s Peshawar dialect 
is similar to Tegey and Robson’s Eastern dialect, while Penzl’s Eastern dialect is simi¬ 
lar to Tegey and Robson’s Central dialect. So where Penzl subdivides the two-dialect 
approach’s Eastern dialect along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border (a roughly north/- 
south line), Tegey and Robson subdivide it along an east-west line within Afghanistan. 

Tegey and Robson ascribe their Central dialect to the provinces of Kabul, Logar, 
Ghazni, and Parwan. They note that their Eastern dialect includes both the north¬ 
eastern sections of Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan (now 
called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). Table 4.10 summarizes the three-dialect nomenclature 
of Penzl and Tegey and Robson. 

Tegey & Robson (1996) also note a three-way dialect distinction for J, which we 
elaborate in Table 4.11, using our dialect labels: 



44 


Pashto Dialects 


This book 

Penzl 

Tegey and Robson 

SW 

Kandahar 

Kandahar, Western 

NE 

Peshawar 

Eastern, Nangarhar 

NW 

Eastern 

Central 


Table 4.10: Three-dialect approach 


SW NE NW 


i i z 


Table 4.11: Pronunciation of j 








Alina Twist and Anne Boyle David 

5 Nouns 

5.1 Inflection 

Pashto nouns are inflected to show gender (masculine and feminine), number (singu¬ 
lar and plural), and case (direct, oblique, ablative, and vocative). Agreement is found 
on determiners and modifying adjectives, which agree in gender, number, and case, 
while pronouns and verbal agreement markers reflect gender and number. Scholars 
usually try to categorize Pashto nouns into inflectional classes; however, grammati¬ 
cal descriptions are in disagreement over the extent to which the organization of a 
class system should be based on the noun’s plural formation, its phonological shape 
(especially the stem-final sound), or its case-marking patterns. Following a review of 
the basic inflectional categories in the first three sections of this chapter, we present a 
system of inflectional classes for nouns that largely coincides with that presented for 
adjectives in Chapter 6. Our system differs from previous treatments in that we base 
it solely on the suffixes each noun takes and treat stem allomorphy separately (see 
Section 5.2.2). 


5.1.1 Gender 

Pashto nouns are categorized grammatically as either masculine or feminine. Broadly 
speaking, the gender of a noun may often be distinguished by the ending of the noun 
in its citation form, the direct singular word-form. (Regarding case forms, see Section 
5.1.3 and also Chapter 8.) For example: 

Typical masculine noun endings Typical feminine noun endings 

(direct singular) (direct singular) 


any consonant a a or a 

ay (stressed or unstressed) ay 

e 

_ ; _ 

There are, however, many exceptions to this pattern—some predictable by other 
criteria, others unpredictable. For animate nouns, grammatical gender is usually de¬ 
termined by biological sex, regardless of the noun’s ending. So nouns like jy I moil 
‘mother’ and /lur/ ‘daughter’ are grammatically feminine, even though they end in 
consonants. 



46 


Nouns 


Predicting grammatical gender based on sex primarily works for nouns that de¬ 
note humans or animals whose sex is culturally important and readily apparent; for 
example, 

/saray/ ‘man’ vs. a^a- /sacfea/ ‘woman’ 

/sagard/‘student (male)’vs. /sagarda/‘student (female)’ 

/ywayi/ ‘bull’ vs. /ywa/‘cow’ 

Many small animals and insects, on the other hand, are associated with an invari¬ 
able grammatical gender assigned more or less arbitrarily (see Rishtin 1994, cited in 
Khan 2006). So, for example, the word for ‘spider’ in Pashto is often feminine: 
/yana/ (pi. l j s i- /yane/), and the word for ‘fish’ is always masculine: i_~S~ /kab/ (pi. 

Ollf /kaban/). 

Nouns like /piso/‘cat (female)’and /bizo/ ‘monkey’ are grammatically 
feminine by default, and there is no strong cultural motivation to distinguish between 
male and female counterparts. In rare circumstances, however, such words may be 
inflected with a distinct opposite gender form, as in /pisay/ ‘cat (male)’; or the 
agreement patterns elsewhere in the utterance may reflect masculine as opposed to 
feminine gender, as in ^s- /yat bizo/ ‘big monkey (male)’, where jj*j /bizo/ 
does not change, but the shape of the adjective indicates that the noun has masculine 
reference. 

Additional semantic clues may be helpful for a noun whose grammatical gender 
cannot be predicted by the sex of its denotational class or by its final sound. For ex¬ 
ample, although nouns ending in /i/ can be either masculine or feminine, as a gen¬ 
eral rule, masculine nouns ending in /i/ denote professions (e.g. /qazi/ ‘judge’), 
whereas /i/-final nouns denoting abstract concepts and inanimate objects are typically 
feminine (e.g. /duxmani/ ‘enmity’). 


5.1.2 Number 

Pashto has several ways to form regular plurals, as may be seen in the tables in Section 

5.2.3 and onwards. As with gender, number is often reflected in agreement on modify¬ 
ing adjectives, in coreferential pronouns, and in agreement markers on verbs. 

Plural formation is one of the ways to distinguish feminine from masculine nouns. 
For example, although nouns like jy I moil ‘mother’ and /lur/ ‘daughter’ look 
masculine because they end with consonants, their plurals, ^ /maynde/ ‘moth¬ 
ers’ and ^jJ /lune/ ‘daughters’, show the /-e/ suffix that is typical of many femi¬ 
nine plurals, rather than the JL /-an/ or Ajj. /-una/ suffixes that are characteristic of 
consonant-final masculine nouns. 

Certain mass nouns or collective nouns like aj jl /oba/ ‘water’ and jo^ /gdan/ 
‘millet’ govern plural agreement in verbs. Similarly, consonant-final masculine nouns 
that denote types of fruit or trees generally do not take any special plural suffixes, al- 



Inflection 


47 


though the plural suffix JL /-an/ may be added in some cases, as illustrated in 5.1 and 
5.2. Note that the verb is plural in both sentences, whether or not the noun has a plural 
suffix. 

(5d) 

der-0 tut-0 

many-PL.M.DIR mulberry-PL.M.DIR 

‘I ate many mulberries.’ 

(5.2) . ^ 

der-0 tut an 

many-PL.M.DIR mulberry-PL.M.DIR 

‘I ate many mulberries.’ 

(5.3) . 4jjI 

ma ob-d wa-tsak-al-e 

1SG.STR.0BL water-PL.F.DIR A0R-drink-PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘I drank water.’ (NW) 

(5.4) . ajjI U 

ma der-e 

1SG.STR.0BL much-PL.F.DIR 

‘I drank a lot of water.’ (NW) 

(5.5) . J dij U 

ma gddn-0 

1SG.STR.0BL millet-PL.M.DIR 

‘I ate millet.’ (NW) 

5.1.3 Case 

Case is marked in Pashto by suffixes and, in some instances, by stem vowel ablaut. 
Pashto nouns take one of four morphosyntactic cases: direct, oblique, ablative, or voca¬ 
tive. These are described individually in the following subsections. In most instances. 


wd-xor-al 

A0R-eat.PST-PST.3PL.M 


ob-d wa-cak-dl-e 

water-PL.F.DIR A0R-drink-PST-PST.3PL.F 


me wa-xur-al 

1SG.WK AOR-eat.PST-PST.3PL.M 


me wa-xur-al 

1SG.WK AOR-eat.PST-PST.3PL.M 



48 


Nouns 


case assignment criteria are identical across dialects, but the case assigned by adpo- 
sitions may differ in the Middle dialects, as outlined in Section 9.2. Available data ex¬ 
tends only for Waziri, and only to the direct and oblique cases, so we do not include 
examples for ablative and vocative for the Waziri dialect. 

Nouns that exist in both General Pashto and Waziri usually belong to analogous 
inflectional classes, though the inflectional suffixes for each class differ between Gen¬ 
eral Pashto varieties and Waziri. Accordingly, we present separate class information 
for Waziri corresponding to each class paradigm for General Pashto. 

Marking of case is not always visible or consistent in all domains in Pashto; how¬ 
ever, the combination of inflectional patterns with certain nouns, plural forms of nouns, 
adjectives, pronouns, and verbal agreement markers justifies the identification of the 
four classes named above. 


5.1.3.1 Direct case 

The direct case form is used for noun phrases that fulfill nominative, accusative, or 
absolutive functions, in present-tense and past-tense sentences, respectively. In the 
present tense, grammatical function is indicated by word order, with subjects preced¬ 
ing objects. 


5.1.3.2 Oblique case 

In past-tense sentences, subject noun phrases appear in the oblique case form, in ac¬ 
cordance with split ergativity; see Section 5.I.3.5. See also Chapter 7, on exceptions 
involving first and second person pronouns, and Chapter 8. 

The oblique case is used for objects of most adpositions, including the postposi¬ 
tions /ta/ ‘to’ and /sara/ ‘[comitative] with’; the prepositions j /da/‘of’and aj 
/ pa/ ‘at’, plus any circumposition consisting of a postposition and one of these two 
prepositions; and finally, the circumposition Aj ... aJ /la ... na/ ‘from’ (see Chapter 
9). 


5.1.3.3 Ablative case 

The ablative case (sometimes also called Oblique II or Prepositional) is used when the 
noun is an object of the prepositions aj /pa/‘with’in the instrumental usage, aJ /la/ 
‘from’ or j /tar/ ‘from, originating from’, or any circumposition or complex adposition 
that contains one of these prepositions, except for the circumposition Aj ... aJ /la ... 
na/ ‘from’, which assigns oblique case to its object. 

For masculine nouns, the ablative form is almost always identical to the vocative 
form. For feminine nouns, it is usually identical to both the oblique and vocative forms. 
Note that because of this overlapping of forms and because ablative forms are relatively 



Inflection 


49 


infrequent, some grammatical descriptions—Tegey and Robson’s, for example—do not 
recognize the ablative as a separate case in Pashto. 

According to Lorenz (1982) and Heston (1992), the ablative case can also be used 
for consonant-final masculine nouns when they are modified by a cardinal number 
greater than one, or by some other quantifier: /somra mila/ ‘how many 

miles?’ ne, aSOjs so /dwa halaka/‘two boys’, aJ IS" /laskala/‘tenyears’; however, 
an informant of ours did not have this, giving, for example, jL.jl /salur uxan/ 

‘four camels ’nw , not * /salur uxa/. 


5.1.3.4 Vocative case 

For masculine nouns, the vocative singular suffix in all noun classes is /a/ or /a/, 
except for those ending in j /u/, ^ /i/, or I /a/ in the direct case form: in those nouns, 
the vocative singular form is identical to the direct singular form. With some exceptions 
(mainly kinship terms), the vocative singular form of feminine nouns is identical to the 
oblique and ablative singular forms. The vocative plural form is always identical to the 
other non-direct plural forms. 

(5.6) 

sar-aya wd-dar-eg-a 

man-M.VOC AOR-stop-PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Man, stop!’ (NW) 

(5.7) ^ ^j i 

dd zalm-i kitab-0 

of Zalmay-M.OBL book-M.DIR 

‘Zalmay's book’ (NW) 

(5.8) 

palwas-e wd-dar-eg-a 

Palwasha-F.VOC AOR-stop-PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Palwasha, stop!’ (NW) 

(5.9) l-.IsS' J 

dd palwas-e kitab-0 

of Palwasha-F.OBL book-M.DIR 


‘Palwasha's book’ (NW) 



50 ~~■ Nouns 

(5.10) IfljJjij 

xor-e wa-dar-eg-a 

sister-F.VOC AOR-stop-PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Sister, stop!’ (NW) 

(5.11) J 

da xor-0 kitab-0 

of sister-F.OBL book-M.DIR 

‘sister's book’ (NW) 


5.1.3.5 Split ergativity 

Pashto exhibits nominative-accusative alignment in the non-past tenses and ergative- 
absolutive in the past tenses. Sentences 5.12 and 5.13 illustrate this split; 5.12 shows di¬ 
rect case-marking of and verbal agreement with the nominative argument, while 5.13 
shows oblique case-marking of the subject and verbal agreement with the direct ob¬ 
ject. 

(5.12) sj 

za der-0 

1SG.STR.DIR many-PL.M.DIR 

0-xor-am 

CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

‘I am eating a lot of tasty mulberries.’ ( nw) 

(5.13) . JOlijJ jj aJJU 

ma der-0 

1SG.STR.OBL many-PL.M.DIR 

wa-xor-al 

AOR-eat.PST-PST.3PL.M 
‘I ate a lot of tasty mulberries .* (NW) 


xwandawar-0 tut-an 
tasty-PL.M.DIR mulberry-PL.M.DIR 


xwandawar-0 tut-an 
tasty-PL.M.DIR mulberry-PL.M.DIR 


5.1.4 Animacy 

Another category involved in noun inflection is animacy. Most humans and some ani¬ 
mals are represented by animate nouns, and most other things are not. This distinction 
mostly affects which plural suffixes a noun takes; for example, consonant-final mas¬ 
culine nouns (Class I) that denote living beings typically take the plural suffix Jlx. 



Inflectional affixation 


51 


/-gan/, whereas those that denote inanimate objects are more likely to take j_ /-una/. 
However, actual animacy of the denotational class is not a sure predictor of grammat¬ 
ical animacy in Pashto; for example, /plar/ ‘father’ and a j /tra/ ‘paternal uncle’ 

are both inflected as inanimates. This grammar, therefore, treats animacy as a gram¬ 
matical, rather than semantic, category. This approach is in contrast to most other 
descriptions of Pashto. 

Although the above-mentioned plural suffix jl>L /-gan/ occurs only in Class I, the 
sequence /an/ (with or without additional sounds such as initial /g/ as above) ap¬ 
pears to be strongly associated with living (especially human) denotata: several nouns 
denoting living beings in other inflectional classes have variant plural forms contain¬ 
ing the sequence Jl /an/ in their suffix. 


5.2 Inflectional affixation 

5.2.1 Introduction 

The properties listed in the previous section are marked in the inflected forms of nouns 
by a single suffix, which may be zero. This section describes the forms of affixes by 
class. Our information on the Middle dialects is of variable reliability: the Waziri forms, 
which come from Lorimer, were confirmed through elicitation; however, the Dzadrani 
forms have been extracted from Septfonds and have not been confirmed. 

Due to considerable gaps and overlap among inflectional patterns, there is no ob¬ 
vious solution nor clear consensus for classifying Pashto nouns and adjectives. Some 
resources focus on the endings of nouns, others on the plural forms, still others on 
apparent connections between male and female counterparts and parallels between 
noun and adjective inflection. 

The classification of Pashto inflectional classes presented in this grammar focuses 
on the last two items in that it aims to build a unified inflectional class system for nouns 
and adjectives and to provide a clearer understanding of the association between for¬ 
mally related masculine and feminine classes. The basis for these class groups is more 
apparent for adjectives, whose plural forms show greater uniformity (see Chapter 6). 

A striking feature of Pashto morphology is the fluidity of noun class membership. 
In many instances, the same word can be inflected with different suffixes and hence 
grouped by grammatical descriptions under different noun classes, depending on the 
speaker and the dialect. Whether a noun takes animate or inanimate markers can also 
vary with the dialect, and, as mentioned in Section 5.1.4, may not reflect the actual 
biological status of the noun’s denotatum. 



52 


Nouns 


5.2.2 Stem allomorphy and other morphophonemic alternations 

Many Pashto nouns undergo morphophonemic alternations when they inflect. These 
alternations include stem allomorphy, as well as patterns involving both the stem and 
suffix. They are predictable in some cases from the last sound of the stem, or from other 
information about the form or meaning of the noun; however, their occurrence can be 
erratic in other cases, as can be seen in Table 5.5. We depart from most other descrip¬ 
tions in that we do not consider stem allomorphy when classifying Pashto nouns, but 
instead describe stem allomorphy and other morphophonemic patterns for each class 
in the following sections. 


5.2.3 Class I 
5.2.3.1 Overview 

Class I includes the majority of nouns in both General Pashto and Waziri. Nouns of 
this class can be masculine or feminine, animate or inanimate. Most of them end in 
a consonant. In some instances, which suffix a Class I noun takes is determined by 
whether the stem ends in a vowel or a consonant. These differences are specified in 
Table 5.1 and Table 5.3, which give a broad overview of the inflectional suffixes that 
distinguish this class. 



Inflectional affixation 


53 


Singular 


Plural 


Direct 


Oblique 


Animate Inanimate 

-0 4J 

-gan -una 

-gano -unoE 

-6 w 


Ablative -0 

(vowel-stems) 

<L 

-a 

(consonant-stems) 


Vocative 


Table 5.1: GP Class I Masc. noun suffixes 


Singular 


Plural 


Animate Inanimate 


Direct 

-0 

-a waz 

-9 DZA 

-1 DZA 

-un waz 

-yun waz 

-Oil DZA 

-yon dza 

-ina 

Oblique 

-1 DZA 

-une waz 

-ine waz 



-yune waz 

-a waz 



-one dza 

-0 DZA 



-yone dza 



Table 5.2: Middle dialect Class I Masc. noun suffixes 



54 


Nouns 


Singular 

Plural 

Animate Inanimate 

Animate Inanimate 


Direct 

-0 

«/*- 

-gane 

-we w 

(after /a/ or 
161) 

LT 

; e 

(elsewhere) 

Oblique 

-0 -0 

(after a or 6) 

LT 

! e 

(elsewhere) 

ylSC 

-gano 

JJ- 

-WO w 

(after a or 6) 

J- 

-0 

(elsewhere) 

Ablative 




Vocative 





Table 5.3: GP Class I Fem. noun suffixes 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

-3 WAZ 

-e 


-e WAZ 

-We DZA 


-0 WAZ 



-0 DZA 



Oblique 


Table 5.4: Middle dialect Class I Fem. noun suffixes 





Inflectional affixation 


55 


5.2.3.2 Class I masculine nouns 

Most masculine nouns in this class end in a consonant, although there are also many 
ending in a /a/ or /a/, j /u/, I /a/, or <_$ /i/, and a few in ^ /e/, ^ /yi/, or ^ /ye/, 

the latter derived from feminine nouns in I /a/ or j /o/; for example: 

• /ywayi/‘bull’< Ijp /ywa/‘cow’ 

• /pise/ ‘cat [male]’, a rare variant form < /piso/ ‘cat [female]’. 

However, the derivation of masculine nouns from feminine ones is much rarer than 
the reverse process, described in Section 5.2.3.3. 

The plural of Class I masculine animate nouns is formed with the suffix (j)Olix- 
/-gan(o)/, as shown in Table 5.6 through Table 5.14, whereas a; j. /-una/ and y j- 
/-uno/ are used for inanimate masculine nouns, as can be seen in Table 5.19 through 
Table 5.22. 


5.2.3.2.1 Masculine animate nouns in General Pashto 

Most nouns in this sub-group denote living beings. 

• GP plural suffix Jlix. /-gan/ 

The plural suffix for animate Class I masculine nouns is jlf?L /-gan/. However, 
suffix-initial -S’" /g/ frequently undergoes lenition, either becoming a glide or delet¬ 
ing, the latter when the second part of a consonant cluster. In some cases the stem 
undergoes changes as well. These morphophonemic alternations apply to all nouns 
whose citation form ends in /i/ or in a consonant, and to some of those ending 
in 4_ /a/, a_ /a/, L /a/, or y. /u/ . Certain nouns—for example, those ending in y 
/u/—are extremely fluid in the application of this /g/-deletion: for many, either pos¬ 
sible form is allowed (e.g.jif^ /daku/ ‘bandit’+ Olix. /-gan/> Obf y>\i /dakugan/or 
OijS'ij /dakwan/ ‘bandits’), but for others only one or the other occurs. Table 5.5 
outlines these rules for Class I masculine animate nouns. 

• Sample paradigms 

Table 5.6 through Table 5.14 give paradigms for each type of Class I masculine ani¬ 
mate noun, indicating stem allomorphy, if any, in the top left cell of each table. 

The subset of Class I nouns ending in /i/, shown in Table 5.12, is mostly composed of 
words that denote professional titles or similar designations of a characteristic activ¬ 
ity of the denoted class (e.g. ^>J o /dolci/ ‘drummer’, ( yyjU- /xareji/ ‘foreigner’ 

, /bangi/ ‘hash-smoker’). 

Note from the variant forms shown in Table 5.13 for the plural of this item that j jJu 
/plandar/ ‘stepfather’ can also be inflected as a Class lib noun (Section 5.2.4). 



56 


Nouns 


Final stem sound(s) 

Suffix/Stem change 

Forms 

affected 

Example 

C 

Cg-> C0 

ail plurals 

4r Ol£- jJtJ 

pil-gan -> pilan 
elephants 

o 9 or a 

1. « a or a ■> 0/ 
[stress] 

2. Cg-> C0 

some plurals 

wexta-gan -> wextan 
hairs 

j u 

ug->w 

some plurals 

daku-gan -> dakwan 
bandits 

1 a 

g->y/a_a 

some plurals 

OLIj 

mirza-gan -> mirzayan 
clerks 

<2? ' 

ig^y 

all plurals 

darzf-gan -> darzyan 
tailors 


Table 5.5: GP Class I Masc. animate—morphophonemic alternations 


4 a or a ~ 0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




wexta 

wext-an 

Oblique 





wext-ano 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.6: GP Class I Masc. animate: /wexta/ ‘hair’ 





Inflectional affixation 


57 


no stem change 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

oJcj 



banda 

banda-gan 

Oblique 





banda-gano 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.7: GP Class I Masc. animate: oJjj /banda/ ‘slave’ 


j u ~ w Singular Plural 


Direct £ I.5 

daku 


Oblique 


OljTli 

dakw-an 

daku-gan 


dakw-ano 

daku-gano 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.8: GP Class I Masc. animate: /daku/ ‘bandit’ 



58 


Nouns 


no stem change 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




bazu 

bazu-gan 

Oblique 





bazu-gano 

Ablative 



Vocative 



1 Class 1 Masc. animate: 

jjC /bazu/‘arm’ 


no stem change 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

Lu-* 

OWjjs* 


mirza 

mirza-yan 

Oblique 




_ 

mirza-yano 

Ablative 



Vocative 




Table 5.10: GP Class I Masc. animate: \jj~» /mirza/ ‘clerk’ 





Inflectional affixation 


59 


no stem change 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

1*1* 

oiso*i* 


mama 

mama-gan 

Oblique 


ytfUl* 



mama-gano 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.11: GP Class I Masc. animate: UU /mama/ ‘maternal uncle’ 


cS i~y 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

cSXP 



darzf 

darzy-an 

Oblique 





darzy-ano 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.12: GP Class I Masc. animate: /darzf/ ‘tailor’ 



60 


Nouns 


a 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

j JjJj 

OljjJj 


plandar 

plandar-an 

j-XAj 

plandar 

Oblique 

j JjlL 



plandar 

plandar-ano 

jj-uL 

plandar-o 

Ablative 

plandar-a 


Vocative 

iP Class 1 Masc. animate: 

jJlJj /plandar/‘stepfath 

er’ 

no stem change 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 


d%> 


pil 

pil-an 

Oblique 


pil-ano 

Ablative 

Vocative 

aJl, 

pfl-a 



Table 5.14: GP Class I Masc. animate: J-j /pil/ ‘elephant’ 





Inflectional affixation 


61 


5 . 23 . 2.2 Masculine animate nouns in Waziri 

Most nouns in this sub-group denote living beings. 

• Waziri plural suffix /-un/,/-yun/ 

The direct plural suffix for animate Class I masculine nouns is /-un/ for nouns that 
end in a consonant or /-yun/ for those that end in a vowel. The corresponding 
oblique plural suffixes are /-une/and /-yune/, respectively. 

• Sample paradigms 

Table 5.15 through Table 5.16 give paradigms for each type of Class I masculine ani¬ 
mate noun in Waziri. 


no stem change Singular 


Direct sagard 


Oblique 


Plural 


sagard-un 


sagard-une 


Table 5.15: Waziri Class I Masc. animate: /sagard/ ‘student [male]’ 


no stem change Singular Plural 


mirza mirza-yun 


mirza-yune 


Table 5.16: Waziri Class I Masc. animate: /mirza/ ‘clerk’ 


Direct 


Oblique 


As in General Pashto, the subset of Class I nouns ending in /i/, shown in Table 5.17, 
is mostly composed of words that express professional titles or similar designations 
of a characteristic activity of the referent (e.g. /kazi/ ‘judge’, /xoreji/ ‘foreigner’, 
/bangi/ ‘hash-smoker’). These nouns exhibit a stem allomorphy between the final 
/i/ of the uninflected form and /y/ in the inflected form. 







62 


Nouns 


i ~ y 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

kazi 

kazy-un 

Oblique 


kazy-une 


Table 5.17: Waziri Class I Masc. animate: /kazf/ ‘judge’ 


5.2.3.2.3 Masculine inanimate nouns in General Pashto and Waziri 

As stated above, this subset of Class I comprises a greater number of nouns with inan¬ 
imate denotation, although it does also include a few nouns that denote living beings. 
For example, included within this group are kinship terms a j /tra/ ‘paternal uncle’, 
aSo /nika/‘grandfather’, a^o /mere/ ‘husband’, and ajljj /wrara/‘brother's son’and 
(distinctive to Waziri) /plur/ ‘father’. 

Class membership for Pashto nouns varies widely across dialects. For instance, 
in General Pashto, /nika/ ‘grandfather’ can alternatively be inflected like a Class I 
animate noun with no stem allomorphy; i.e., with the plural suffix /-an/, giving plural 
forms /nikagan/, /nikagano/. In Waziri, this form can similarly be 

inflected as a Class I animate noun; i.e., with the plural suffix /-fin/, giving the plural 
form /nikun/. In General Pashto, the word a/mera/ ‘husband’ can be inflected 
by some speakers with a stem change, similarly to the pattern in Table 5.19, where 
the stem vowel a /a/is dropped, giving plurals Ajj^ /meruna/, y /meruno/. In 
Waziri, the word /nik/ ‘fingernail’ can be inflected like either a Class I animate noun 
with a plural form of /nikun/ or as a Class I inanimate noun, yielding a plural form of 
/nikina/. 

• Stem allomorphy 

Like animate masculine nouns of Class I, inanimate masculine nouns can also un¬ 
dergo stem allomorphy before suffixes are added, as shown in Table 5.18. 

• Sample paradigms for GP Class I masculine inanimate nouns 

Table 5.19 through Table 5.22 give paradigms for each type of Class I masculine inan¬ 
imate noun, indicating stem allomorphy, if any, in the top left cell of each table. 
The first three tables give the patterns for consonant-final nouns, and the last one 
illustrates vowel-final nouns. 

The majority of nouns represented by Table 5.19 are monosyllabic (as in jj /war/ 
‘door’); however, multisyllabic nouns are included as well (as in /tayar/ ‘rug’). 



Inflectional affixation 


63 


Final stem 
sound(s) 

Stem change 

Forms affected 

Comment 

Example 

VC 

a -> 0 

all plurals 

mostly 

monosyllabic 

words 

4j 

yar-una -> 

yruna 

mountains 


a ■> a 

oblique 
singular; all 
plurals 


daftar-una -> 

daftaruna 

office 

o 9 or a 

V 0 

all plurals 







psa-una ■> 





psuna 

sheep 


Table 5.18: Class I Masc. inanimate—stem allomorphy 


a ~ 0 


Singular Plural 


Direct 


yar 


yr-una 


Oblique 


yr-uno 


Ablative 


yar-a 

yr-a 


Vocative 


Table 5.19: GP Class I Masc. inanimate: /yar/‘mountain’ 



64 


Nouns 


Some of the nouns in this set can also be inflected as Class II nouns (Section 5.2.4). 
For example, the oblique form of ji- /yar/ ‘mountain’ (Table 5.19) can also be heard 
as a^p /yr-a/. Likewise, jis /daftar/ ‘office’ (Table 5.20) has variant forms that would 
put it in Class lib. 


a ~ 0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 


4j 


daftar 

daftar-una 






daftar 

Oblique 




daftar 

daftar-uno 






daftar-o 

Ablative 

6 J&S 



daftar-a 


Vocative 




Table 5.20: GP Class I Masc. inanimate: j&s /daftar/ ‘office’ 


• Sample paradigms for Waziri Class I masculine inanimate nouns 

Table 5.23 through Table 5.26 give paradigms for each type of Class I masculine inan¬ 
imate noun, indicating stem allomorphy, if any, in the top left cell of each table. 
Patterns of stem allomorphy are described in Section 5.2.3.2.3. The first two tables 
give the patterns for consonant-final nouns, and the last two illustrate vowel-final 


nouns. 



Inflectional affixation 


65 


no stem change 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

if- 



ywag 

ywag-una 

Oblique 





ywag-uno 

Ablative 



Vocative 

ywag-a 



Table 5.21: GP Class I Masc. inanimate: jji- /ywag/ ‘ear’ 


0 ~ 0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 


Ajj^J 


PS0 

ps-una 

Oblique 





ps-uno 


Ablative 

Vocative 

Table 5.22: GP Class I Masc. inanimate: <u_j /psa/ ‘sheep’ 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

tayar 

tayar-fna 

Oblique 


tayar-fne 


Table 5.23: Waziri Class I Masc. inanimate: /tayar/ ‘rug’ 



66 


Nouns 


a ~ a 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

daftar 

daftar-fna, 

Oblique 


daftar-fne 

Table 5.24: Waziri Class 1 Masc. inanimate: /daftar/ ‘office’ 


a ~ 0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

pasa 

pas-fna 

Oblique 


pas-fne 

Table 5.25: Waziri Class 1 Masc. inanimate: /pasa/ ‘sheep’ 


a ~ 0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

yar 

yr-fna 

Oblique 


yr-fne 


Table 5.26: Waziri Class I Masc. inanimate: /yar/ ‘mountain’ 







Inflectional affixation 


67 


5 . 2.33 Class I feminine nouns in General Pashto and Waziri 

Most Class 1 feminine nouns end in (unstressed) a /a/ or /a/, although some also end 
in /a/, /e/, /o/, /a/, or a consonant. Some of those ending in /a/ or /a/ are formed by 
adding this sound to the direct singular form of the masculine counterpart, in which 
case it reflects biological sex; for example: 

/soy/ ‘hare [male]’ > /soya/ ‘hare [female]’ 

/mal/ ‘friend [male]’ > /mla/ ‘friend [female]’ 

0/spun/ ‘shepherd’ > /spana/ ‘shepherdess’ 

As can be seen in the second and third examples, sometimes there is a stem change 
as well. 


5.2.3.3.1 General Pashto Class I feminine animate nouns 

Animate feminine nouns of Class I have the same form for all case forms in the singular, 
as can be seen in the list of suffixes in Table 5.3, as well as in the paradigms in Table 
5.28 through Table 5.30. 

• Stem allomorphy 

Table 5.27 describes the changes that take place for plural animate feminine nouns 
of Class I. 


Final stem Suffix/Stem change Forms affected Example 

sound(s) 


e 


all plurals 

1 . g ->0 

2. e -> y/_a 


xwaxe-gane -> 

xwaxyane 

‘mothers-in-law’ 


Table 5.27: GP Class I Fem. animate—stem allomorphy 


• Sample paradigms 

Table 5.28 through Table 5.30 show examples of animate Class I feminine nouns. 

Class I feminine nouns that end in /o/ or /a/ show some variability in plural suffixes, 
as can be seen in Table 5.29 and Table 5.30. Penzl (1955) reports that the /w/ forms 
are more common in Kandahari Pashto, although not exclusive to that dialect. Note 




68 


Nouns 


e ~ y 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




xwaxe 

xwaxy-ane 

Oblique 





xwaxy-ano 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.28: GP Class I Fem. animate: /xwaxe/‘mother-in-law’ 


that in taking the iSj-I -we/ or jj_ /-wo/ suffixes, the nouns are switching categories, 
from animate to inanimate, and would decline exactly like the feminine inanimate 
noun lij /rana/ ‘light’ in Table 5.34. 

Singular Plural 

Direct J&X* 

b' zo bizo-gane 

^JJj* 

bizo-we 

Oblique y\f\y~i 

bizo-gano 

JJj* 

bizo-wo 

Ablative 

Vocative 


Table 5.29: GP Class I Fem. animate/inanimate: jjj /bizo/‘monkey’ 





Inflectional affixation 


69 


Singular 


Direct 

brexna 


Oblique 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Plural 

brexna-gane 

brexna-we 

jj 

brexna-gano 

brexna-wo 


Table 5.30: GP Class I Fem. animate/inanimate: j /brexna/ ‘lightning’ 


5.23.3.2 General Pashto Class I feminine inanimate nouns 

Inanimate feminine nouns in Class I behave similarly to animate ones in the singular 
when they end in I /a/ or j /o/; that is, all singular forms are identical (see Table 
5.3). Those that end in any other sounds have one form for the singular direct form 
and another for the singular oblique, ablative, and vocative forms, as in Table 5.32 and 
Table 5.33. 

• Stem allomorphy 

Table 5.31 describes stem allomorphy for inanimate feminine nouns of Class I. 


Final stem sound(s) Stem change Forms affected Example 


o 


a or a 


V 0 


oblique singular, all <- ^ 

plurals 

aspa-e -> aspe 
‘mares’ 


Table 5.31: GP Class I Fem. inanimate—stem allomorphy 



70 


Nouns 


• Sample paradigms 

Table 5.32 through Table 5.34 show examples of inanimate Class I feminine nouns. 


a or a ~ 0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 


L5T- 1 


aspa 

asp-e 

Oblique 

L5T- 1 



asp-e 

asp-o 


Ablative 

Vocative 

Table 5.32: Class I Fem. inanimate: I /aspa/ ‘mare’ 


no stem change Singular Plural 

Direct L* 

miast miast-e 

Oblique jiiL* 

miast-e miast-o 


Ablative 

Vocative 

Table 5.33: Class I Fem. inanimate: c—iL* /miast/ ‘mouth’ 



Inflectional affixation 


71 


Singular Plural 


Direct Ijij cSjlj ij 

rana rana-we 


Oblique j 

rana-wo 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.34: Class I Fern, inanimate: (j j /rana/ ‘light’ 


5.2.33.3 Waziri Class i feminine nouns 

Most Waziri Class I feminine nouns end in a /a/, although some also end in /a/, /e/, 
or a consonant. Some of those ending in /a/ or /a/ are derived by adding this sound to 
the direct singular form of the masculine counterpart; for example: 

/sagard/ ‘student [male]’ > /sagarda/ ‘student [female)]’ 

Regular inanimate and animate feminine nouns of Class I behave similarly. How¬ 
ever, many animate feminine nouns, particularly those that are kinship terms, are ir¬ 
regular, as they are in General Pashto. These are addressed in Section 5.2.6.I. Stem al- 
lomorphy applies in Waziri as it does in General Pashto (see Table 5.31), that is, nouns 
ending in an unstressed vowel lose the vowel when the inflected suffix is added. If the 
final vowel carries stress in the uninflected form, the stress will remain with the suffix 
in the inflected form, as shown in Table 5.37. 

• Sample paradigms 

Table 5.35 through Table 5.37 show examples of Class I feminine nouns. 



72 


Nouns 


stem = wradz- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

wradz 

wradz-e 

Oblique 



Table 5.35: Waziri Class 1 Fem., consonant-final: /wradz/ ‘day’ 


stem = jarga 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

jarga 

jarg-e 

Oblique 



Table 5.36: Waziri Class 1 Fem., unstressed-vowel-final: /jarga/ ‘ 

council’ 

stem = zanda 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

zanda 

zand-e 

Oblique 




Table 5.37: Waziri Class I Fem., stressed-vowel-final: /zanda/ ‘flag’ 







Inflectional affixation 


73 


5.2.4 Class II 
5.2.4.1 Overview 

General Pashto’s Class II has no feminine nouns. It consists of two declension patterns, 
subdivided according to these two patterns into Classes Ha and lib. There is no ani¬ 
macy distinction in Class lib, or, viewed another way, all Class lib nouns are animate. 
A comparison of the animate suffixes of Ha with lib suffixes shows that they differ in 
only two respects: first, in their oblique singular/direct plural suffixes (/-a/ versus -0), 
and second, in the presence or absence of stress in the vocative singular suffixes. 

Nouns in Class Ha can end in either a consonant or a stressed /a/. Most of those 
that end in /a/ appear to be nouns derived from the suffix <l_ /-ba/ ‘master, keeper’, as 
in j /uxba/ ‘camel driver’, from j /ux/ ‘camel’. These /-ba/ derived nouns, as 
well as the noun /melma/ ‘guest’ (Table 5.45), have alternate /-ana/ and /-ano/ 
suffixes in the plural. Suffixes for this class are given in Table 5.38. 

Class lib nouns all end in consonants. Most, perhaps all, of the nouns in this class 
can also be declined according to other noun classes. Suffixes for this class are given 
in Table 5.39. 

We have not identified a distinct set of Class II nouns in Waziri. Most of the mascu¬ 
line nouns whose General Pashto forms are Class Ha nouns behave like Class I nouns, 
like /paliz/ ‘kitchen garden’, plural /paliz-ina/, and /tanur/ ‘oven’, plural /tanur- 
ina/. At least one masculine noun that belongs to Class lib in General Pashto may be 
inflected in Waziri like a Class lib noun, namely /zanawar/ ‘animal’, plural /zanawar/. 
Another noun expected to belong to the same class, /manzawar/ ‘shrinekeeper’ is in¬ 
flected in Waziri as a Class I animate noun, plural /manzawar-un/. Feminine nouns 
that belong to Class II in General Pashto typically behave like Class III nouns in Waziri, 
e.g. /koranay/ ‘family’, plural /koran-ej/. The data are too sparse to determine whether 
Class II nouns simply do not exist in Waziri, or if an inflection pattern similar to that 
of GP Class II may be an option for some nouns. 



74 


Nouns 


Singular Plural 




Animate 

Inanimate 

Direct 

-0 

4_ 




-0 

4j'L 

-ana 

(variant for 
a-stem only) 

-una 

Oblique 

4_ 

j- 



-0 

-6 

-uno 




-ano 

(variant for 
a-stem only) 


Ablative 

Vocative 

4_ 

-a 




Table 5.38: GP Class lla noun suffixes 



Singular 

Plural 

Animate Inanimate 

Direct 

-0 

-0 

Oblique 


J- 



-0 

Ablative 

4_ 


Vocative 

-a 



Table 5.39: GP Class Mb noun suffixes 





Inflectional affixation 


75 


5.2.4.2 General Pashto Class lla 
• Stem allomorphy 

Patterns of stem allomorphy for Class Ha nouns are given in Table 5.40. 


Final stem 
sound(s) 

Stem 

change 

Forms affected 

Noun type 

Example 

j o/u + C 

V a 

oblique 
singular and 
direct plural 

animates 

C -_ 0 

paxtun-a -> 

paxtana 

‘Pashtuns’ 


V a 

oblique, 
ablative, and 
vocative 
plurals 


paxtun-o -> 

paxtano 

‘Pashtuns’ 


V ■> a or 
no change 

all plurals 

inanimates 

JjJJ 4j 

tanur-una -> 

tanaruna 

‘ovens’ 

a/a + C 

V 0 

all plurals 

all 

monosyllables 

yal-una -> yluna 
‘thieves’ 

a 

a -> 0 

everywhere but 
direct singular 

mostly -ba 
derived nouns 

melma-a -> melma 
‘guests’ 


Table 5.40: GP Class lla—stem allomorphy 


• Sample paradigms 

Paradigms of some typical Class lla nouns are given in Table 5.41 through Table 5.45. 

Some lla nouns with the o/u ~ a alternation (Table 5.42) can also be declined as 
Class I nouns. 



76 


Nouns 


no stem change 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




palez 

palez-una 

Oblique 

ojJIj 



palez-5 

palez-uno 

Ablative 




palez-a 



Vocative 


Table 5.41: GP Class lla inanimate: /palez/ ‘kitchen garden’ 


o/u ~ a/a 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




paxtun 

paxtan-a 

Oblique 


..., 


paxtan-a 

paxtan-o 

Ablative 



Vocative 

paxtun-a 



Table 5.42: GP Class lla inanimate: /paxtun/ ‘Pashtun 





Inflectional affixation 


o/u ~ 0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

jyj 



tanur 

tanar-una 






tanur-una 

Oblique 




tanur-a 

tanar-uno 



yjjyJ 



tanur-uno 

Ablative 




tanur-a 


Vocative 




Table 5.43: GP Class lla inanimate: jyj /tanur/‘oven’ 


All nouns of the type illustrated in Table 5.44 have monosyllabic stems. 



78 


Nouns 


a/a ~ 0 Singular Plural 


Direct Jp <lLp 

yal yl-a 


4Jjip 

yl-una 


Oblique 

<dp 

yl-3 

> 

yl-o 

y^S- 

yl-uno 

Ablative 

Vocative 

<lLp 

yal-a 


Table 5.44: GP Class lla animate/inanimate: Jp /yal/ ‘thief’ 


a ~0 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




melma 

melm-a 

4j'LJ^4 

melm-ana 

Oblique 




melm -0 

melm-6 

melm-ano 

Ablative 

Vocative 

melm-a 


Table 5.45: GP Class lla animate: 

<uL« /melma/‘guest’ 






Inflectional affixation 


79 


5.2.4.3 General Pashto Class lib 

This class is different from the others: it contains only a few nouns, and most, if not 
all, of its members belong to Class I for some speakers. Adjectives whose final syllables 
are /-gar/,jj- /-war/,0- /-an/, or jy /-zan/decline according to this class when 
used with nominal function. The words in this class all end in /aC/; the consonant is 
most often /n/ or /r/. Class lib has no animate/inanimate distinction and includes the 
nouns in the list below. Some authors treat these nouns as irregular, but in our view 
there are enough to form a declension class: 

/xatgar/ ‘plasterer’ (also Class I masculine animate) 

/Jo /bazgar/ ‘peasant’ (also Class I masculine animate) 

/sxar/ ‘stone’ 
yyj /naxtar/ ‘pine tree’ 

jiy* /motar/ ‘car’ (also Class I masculine or feminine inanimate) 
ji /dardman/ ‘sensitive one’ (also Class I masculine animate) 
j /wakman/ ‘ruler’ (also Class I masculine animate) 
yp* /mayan/ ‘lover’ 

uSo y /topak/ ‘gun’ (also Class I masculine inanimate) 

J^jyky /xacbunak/ ‘hermaphrodite’ 

/mlax/ ‘locust’ (also Class I masculine animate) 

The loanword Jy> /motar/ ‘car’ was probably put into this class by some speakers 
on the analogy of the other Class lib nouns that end in /ar/. It is particularly indeter¬ 
minate, in that as a Class I noun, it can also be either masculine or feminine. 

• Stem allomorphy 

Patterns of stem allomorphy for Class lib nouns are given in Table 5.46. 

Final stem sound(s) Stem change 

a + C a ■> a 


Table 5.46: GP Class Mb—stem allomorphy 




Sample paradigms 

The paradigm of a Class lib noun is given in Table 5.47. 




80 


Nouns 


a ~ a 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 


Cr^r - 2 


duxman 

duxman 

Oblique 


J . 1 


duxman 

duxman-o 

Ablative 




duxman-a 


Vocative 




Table 5.47: GP Class Mb: ^40 /duxman/‘enemy’ 


5.2.5 Class III 
5.2.5.1 Overview 

In both General Pashto and Waziri, Class III nouns exhibit no stem allomorphy. They 
are distinguished by the endings of their direct singular forms: In General Pashto, for 
masculines, this sound is <_$ /ay/, and for feminines, it is either xj /ay/ or <_g /e/. In 
Waziri, for masculines, this sound is /ay/, and for feminines, it is either /ay/, /i/, /o/, 
or /ye/. Section 5.2.5.1.1 through Section 5.2.5.3 detail the facts for Class III in General 
Pashto, while Section 5.2.5.4 summarizes the situation for Waziri. 


5.2.5.1.1 Subclassification of Class III in General Pashto 

The inflectional patterns of Class III nouns differ noticeably, depending on whether 
the primary stress falls on the ultimate or the penultimate syllable. Hence the class is 
divided into two subgroups. Ilia and Illb, described in the following sections. 

Another distinguishing feature of GP Class III nouns is that their direct singular 
forms take a suffix, which means that the stem is not identical to the direct singular 
form, unlike other Pashto nouns; and in fact, the stem can look rather odd, as with the 
words for both male dog and female dog (see Table 5.52 and Table 5.54). 

The suffixes for GP Class III nouns are shown in Table 5.48, Table 5.49, Table 5.50, 
and Table 5.51. 



Inflectional affixation 


81 


Singular Plural 


Animate Inanimate 


Direct 

LT 

-ay 

lT 

-f 

-ian 

LT 

-f 

Oblique 

LT 

> 

y 


-f 

-6 

-6 



y- 




-fo 

-fo 







-iano 


Ablative 

<U_ 




-aya 



Vocative 





Table 5.48: GP Class Ilia Masc. noun suffixes 



82 


Nouns 


Singular 

Plural 

Animate Inanimate 

Animate Inanimate 


Direct 

-9y 

LT 

-\ 

LT 

-6y 

-iane 

-yane 

-aygane 

LT 

-ay 

A 

-iane 

-yane 

Oblique 







-ay 

-ayo 

-ayo 




yj Ls_ 

yj Lw. 




-iano 

-iano 




-yano 

-yano 









-aygano 



Ablative 

Vocative 


Table 5.49: GP Class Ilia Fem. noun suffixes 



Singular 



Singular 

lt 
! e 

Ablative 

Vocative 

Table 5.51: GP Class IIIb Fern, noun suffixes 


Direct 


Oblique 


1 Penzl (1955) has the ending /-e/ for the Class lllb 
Table 5.57). This is the only source to suggest an alt< 


Inflectional affixation 


83 


Plural 

l r 
-i 

J- 

-o 

-yo 


Plural 


lT 

! e 


J- 

-o 

-yo 




84 


Nouns 


5.2.5.2 Class Ilia 

Nouns of Class Ilia are inflected for case-marking as noted in Table 5.48 and Table 5.49. 
As with other noun classes described earlier, the sequence JL /an/ is optionally used 
in plural formation, primarily with nouns denoting animate objects. Among Class Ilia 
feminine nouns, it occurs among inanimate nouns as well as animate, as seen in Table 
5.56. Animate denotations in this class include ethnic or tribal denominations such as 
/apriday/‘Afridi’. 


5.2.5.2.1 Masculine Class Ilia nouns 
• Sample paradigms 

Paradigms of some typical masculine Class Ilia nouns are given in Table 5.52 and 
Table 5.53. 


stem = sp- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

lst*’ 

csT* 1 


sp-ay 

sp-f 






sp-ian 

Oblique 




sp-r 

sp-o 


sp-fo 

sp-iano 


sp-aya 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 5.52: GP Class Ilia Masc. animate: /spay/ ‘dog [male]’ 



Inflectional affixation 


85 


stem = stor- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




gad-ay 

gad-f 

Oblique 




gad-f 

gado 

Ablative 




gad-aya 


Vocative 




Table 5.53: GP Class Ilia Masc. inanimate: /gaday/ ‘feast’ 


5.2.5.2.2 Feminine Class Ilia nouns 

Note the wide variance in possible plural forms for Class Ilia feminine nouns. The vari¬ 
ous plural alternatives mentioned here are not always freely interchangeable, yet there 
is no clear rule for which form is preferred. 

• Sample paradigms 

Paradigms of some typical feminine Class Ilia nouns are given in Table 5.52 and 
Table 5.53. 



86 


Nouns 


stem = sp- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

CiT" 

lst* 


sp-ay 

sp-ay 


LS'W'*' 

sp-iane 


Oblique 

sp-ayo 

tj i — 

sp-iano 

Ablative 

Vocative 

Table 5.54: GP Class Ilia Fem. animate: /spay/ ‘dog [female]’ 


stem = koran- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




koran-ay 

koran-ay 

koran-yane 

koran-aygane 

Oblique 


koran-ayo 

koran-yano 

koran-aygano 


Ablative 

Vocative 


Table 5.55: GP Class Ilia Fem. animate: /koranay/ ‘family’ 





Inflectional affixation 


87 


stem = calak- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




calak-f 

calak-ay 

calak-yane 

Oblique 


U- 

Ablative 

Vocative 

calak-ay 

calak-ayo 

yLS'MU- 

calak-yano 


Table 5.56: GP Class Ilia Fern, inanimate: /calaki/ ‘trickiness’ 


5.2.5.3 Class Nib 

Compared to Class Ilia nouns, there is little variation among plural Class Illb nouns, 
as reflected in Table 5.50 and Table 5.51. There is also no animacy distinction among 
Class Illb nouns. 


5.2.5.3.1 Masculine Class Illb nouns 
• Sample paradigms 

Table 5.57 gives a sample paradigm for a masculine Class Illb noun. 



88 


Nouns 


stem = malgar- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




malgar-ay 

malgar-i 

Oblique 




malgar-i 

malgar-o 



y-r^ 



malgar-yo 

Ablative 

4j 

malgar-ya 


Vocative 




Table 5.57: GP Class III b Masc.: ^ /malgaray/ ‘friend [male]’ 


5 . 2 . 53.2 Feminine Class lllb nouns 
• Sample paradigms 

Table 5.58 gives a sample paradigm for a feminine Class lllb noun. 



Inflectional affixation 


89 


stem = malger- Singular 


Direct ijJ>1* 

malgar-e 


Oblique 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Plural 


malgar-e 


malgar-o 

maigar-yo 


Table 5.58: GP Class Nib Fem.: <j,J>1* /malgare/ ‘friend [female]’ 


5.2.5.4 Class III in Waziri 

As in General Pashto, Waziri Class III nouns are distinguished by the endings of their 
direct singular forms: for masculines, this sound is /ay/, and for feminines, it is ei¬ 
ther /ay/, /i/, /o/, or /ye/. Lorimer (1902) divides masculine nouns in this class into 
two subgroups, depending on the form of the plural suffixes. We have found only one 
form of the direct plural suffix and do not have any examples of Class III nouns in the 
oblique plural, so we are unable to support Lorimer’s subdivision. We call Lorimer’s 
subgroups Class Ilia and Class Illb, but the subdivisions do not seem to be related 
to stress patterns as they are in General Pashto. Feminine Class III nouns distinguish 
themselves by being mostly invariable. Direct singular forms ending in /i/ take the 
/-ay/ suffix in direct plural and oblique singular and plural, following the pattern of 
/-ay/-final nouns. Nouns of this class ending in /o/ or /ye/ take the same ending 
throughout the direct and plural cases, regardless of number. 

The suffixes for Class III nouns as described by Lorimer (1902) are shown in Table 
5.59 through Table 5.63. 

• Sample paradigms 

Abbreviated paradigms of some typical Class III nouns are given in Table 5.64 through 
Table 5.68. We include only the direct case for the masculine nouns, as these are the 
only forms we have been able to verify with native speakers. 



90 


Nouns 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

-ay 

-\ 



-rna dza 

Oblique 

-\ 

-ay waz 



-ye waz 



-ay dza 


Table 5.59: Middle dialect Class Ilia Masc. noun suffixes 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

-ay 

-fon waz 



-i DZA 

Oblique 

-\ 

-ione waz 



-ye dza 


Table 5.60: Middle dialect Class 111 b Masc. noun suffixes 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

-ay WAZ 

-ay waz 


-f 

-ay dza 

Oblique 

-ay waz 



-ay dza 



Table 5.61: Middle dialect Class III Fem. noun suffixes: /-ay/ 







Inflectional affixation 


91 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

-0 


Oblique 



Table 5.62: Middle dialect Class III Fem. 

noun suffixes: /-o/ 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

-ye 


Oblique 



Table 5.63: Middle dialect Class III Fem. 

noun suffixes: /-ye/ 


stem = xus- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

xus-ay 

xus-f 

Table 5.64: Waziri Class Ilia Masc. animate: /xusay/ ‘calf’ 


stem = pat- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

pat-ay 

pat-f 

Table 5.65: Waziri Class III Masc. inanimate: /patay/ ‘star’ 


stem = sar- 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

sar-ay 


Oblique 




Table 5.66: Waziri Class III Fem.: /saray/ ‘woolen jacket’ 



92 


Nouns 


stem = xamt- Singular Plural 


Direct xamt-o 


Oblique 


Table 5.67: Waziri Class Ilia Fem. inanimate: /xamto/ ‘cloth’ 


stem = gut- Singular Plural 


Direct gut-ye 


Oblique 


Table 5.68: Waziri Class Ilia Fem. inanimate: /gutye/ ‘ring’ 


5.2.6 Irregular nouns and irregular patterns in General Pashto 

Pashto has many irregular morphological patterns among its nouns. 

As mentioned in Section 5.2.1, many nouns that follow the patterns of one partic¬ 
ular declension class can also have alternative plural forms, and the acceptability of 
one alternative over another is not always predictable. The class membership of cer¬ 
tain nouns is also not fixed, with some nouns optionally following the full inflectional 
paradigm of more than one class. 

In addition to such variation in the use of plural and oblique forms, some nouns, 
especially loanwords, vary in gender assignment. For example, as mentioned in Sec¬ 
tion 5.2.4.3, the noun jiy> /motor/ ‘automobile’ can follow three different inflectional 
patterns, depending on the speaker: Class I masculine inanimate, with plural form 
tijjy /motoruna/ ‘automobiles’ (by virtue of the consonant-final form). Class I fem¬ 
inine inanimate, with plural form /mothre/ ‘automobiles’ (presumably by as¬ 

sociation with the gender of the same noun in Urdu, from which it was borrowed), or 
Class lib, with plural form Jy> /motor/. 

Other nouns in Pashto follow entirely irregular patterns. A large number of these 
come from kinship terms and Arabic borrowing, presented in the following subsec¬ 
tions. 



Inflectional affixation 


93 


5.2.6.1 Kinship terms 

Perhaps due to their frequent use and cultural importance, many kinship terms in 
Pashto have irregular forms. One explanation for this phenomenon is that words used 
most often, especially culturally significant ones, tend to retain morphological or phono¬ 
logical patterns that have been lost elsewhere in the language. 

While several kinship terms do fit within the regular noun class paradigms—for 
example. Class I nouns /plar/ ‘father’ and a j /tra/ ‘paternal uncle’— even these 
exhibit some oddity in that they represent a fairly exceptional set of nouns that denote 
humans but that take inanimate suffixes. This section describes the more irregular 
Pashto kinship terms. 

The following feminine kinship terms have different stems in the singular and plu¬ 
ral and follow the pattern illustrated in Table 5.69: 
jyA /mor/ ‘mother’; plural stem /maynd-/ 
jy>- /xor/ ‘sister’; plural stem /xwaynd-/ 
jjjj /tror/ ‘paternal aunt’; plural stem /traynd-/ 
jj£j /ngor/ ‘daughter-in-law’; plural stem /ngaynd-/ 


Singular Plural 


Direct 


jr 

mor 


maynd-e 


Oblique 


maynd-o 


Ablative 


iSjy 

more 


Vocative 


Table 5.69: Irregular Fern, kinship noun: jy /mor/ ‘mother’ 


The nouns ajljj /wrara/‘brother's son’, ^jj /zoy/ ‘son’ and jj] /lur/‘daughter’ 
are also all irregular, as shown in Table 5.70, Table 5.71, and Table 5.72. 



94 


Nouns 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 




wrara 

wrer-una 

Oblique 


JjDJ 



wrer-o 



wrer-uno 


Ablative 

Vocative 

Table 5.70: Irregular Masc. kinship noun: a j \jj /wrara/ ‘brother's son’ 



Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

<■£JJ 

Cr*b 


zoy 

zaman 

Oblique 





zaman-o 

Ablative 



Vocative 

zoy-a 



Table 5.71: Irregular Masc. kinship noun: /zoy/ ‘son’ 





Inflectional affixation 


95 


Singular Plural 

Direct j J J J 

lur iun-e 

Oblique 

lun-o 

Ablative J 


Vocative 


Table 5.72: Irregular Fem. kinship noun: /lur/‘daughter’ 


5.2.6.2 Arabic borrowings 

Another common source of irregular inflectional forms comes from Arabic borrowings 
(or nouns perceived by speakers as Arabic), in which the Arabic plural form is bor¬ 
rowed as well. Three major plural patterns are associated with such Arabic loanwords: 

/-in/, o L /-at/, and the Arabic broken plural, as illustrated in Table 5.73 and Table 
5.74. Although the suffix oL /-at/ is a feminine inflectional form in Arabic, the class 
of abstract nouns to which it applies is treated as masculine in Pashto. 

In many cases, the inflectional patterns may either employ the Arabic plural forms 
or may be adapted to one of the regular Pashto noun classes described in Section 5.2.3 
through Section 5.2.5. For example, the word /daftar/ ‘office’, whose paradigm as 
Class I noun appears earlier in Table 5.20 (with plural form a jj&s /daftar-una/, jis 
/daftar/), can also occur with the Arabic broken plural form j{ /dafatar/ ‘offices’. 



96 


Nouns 


Singular Plural 


Direct 


mujahfd 


mujahid-m 


Oblique 


jsj 

mujahid-m-o 

mujahfd-o 


Ablative aJiaU^ 

mujahfd-a 


Vocative 


Table 5.73: Masc. Arabic loanword: /mujahfd/ ‘fighter’ 


Direct 


Oblique 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Singular 


mawzo 1 


Plural 


yp y* 

mawzo'-w-at 


y 'l >-yfiyfi 

mawzo'-w-at-o 


Table 5.74: Masc. Arabic loanword: f- y&y /mawzo 1 / ‘topic’ 





Inflection and agreement of conjoined nouns 


97 


5.3 Inflection and agreement of conjoined nouns 

When nouns are conjoined, if they are both of the same gender, then an adjective which 
modifies (or is predicated of) the conjoined nouns will be in the same gender, but in 
the plural. 

(5.14) . jl 

sana-0 aw madin-a lewan-iane 
Sana-F.DIR and Madina-F.DIR crazy-PL.F.ANIM.DIR 

di 

be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.F 
‘Sana and Madina are crazy.’ 

However, if the conjoined nouns are of different genders, then the adjective must 
be repeated and inflected to agree with the gender of each noun individually. 

(5.15) . 4j>s jLsS” ajjj jl jjj U 

md tor-0 kitab-0 aw tor-a 

1SG.STR.0BL black-M.DIR book-M.DIR and black-F.DIR 

kitabca-0 w-axist-a 

notebook-F.DIR A0R-buy.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘I bought a black book and a black notebook.’ 

Similarly, when a verb agrees with two conjoined nouns, then if the nouns are of 
the same gender, the verb agrees in gender, but is plural: 

(5.16) . J 2 jl 

ahmad-0 aw mahmud-0 gad : ed-al 

Ahmad-M.DIR and Mahmoud-M.DIR dance-PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘Ahmad and Mahmoud danced.’ 

However, if the conjoined nouns are of different genders, then the corresponding 
verb is usually masculine and plural when in non-past tense, but may be declined 
to agree in gender and number with the last item in the list when in past tense. In 
example 5.15 and 5.17, the verb is conjugated to agree in gender with the last of the 
objects mentioned. 

(5.17) . jl 

diw-e aw abasin-0 0-xand-al 

Diwe-F.OBL and Abaseen-M.OBL C0NT-laugh-PST.3PL.M 

‘Diwe and Abaseen were laughing.’ 



98 


Nouns 


5.4 Derivational morphology and loanwords 

5.4.1 Derivational morphology of nouns 

This section discusses some derivational affixes in Pashto and a few of the nouns de¬ 
rived from them. Pashto has both more productive and less productive derivational 
affixes. 


5.4.1.1 Nouns derived with suffixes 

The examples in this section do not necessarily contain nouns of note. They instead 
highlight the relationship between derivational affixes and their stems, which may be 
verbs, adjectives, or other nouns. 


Table 5.75: Derived noun suffixes 


Affix 

Meaning 

Applies to 

Stem 

Derived form 

-dzay 

place of 

nouns, 

including 
verbal nouns 
and adjectives 

(e)djy? 

xowun(a) 

‘teaching’ 

xowuncfeay 

‘school’ 




o:L p ibadat 
‘worship’ 

ibadatcfeay 
‘place of worship, 
mosque, church, 
temple’ 

-tob 

state of being 

nouns and 
adjectives 

masum 

‘child’ 

L masumtob 

‘childhood’ 




yz- 

xwandi ‘safe’ 

xwanditob 

‘safety’ 

l) y- 

-tun 

place of 

nouns and 
adjectives 

sjj poh 
‘expert’ 

CiyzJ-j j poxantun 
‘university’ 




y worakay 
‘small’ 

dy woraktun 
‘kindergarten’ 




woraki 

‘boy’ 


Ls. 

-tiya 

abstract noun 

native Pashto 
adjectives 

\y prax 
‘vast’ 

LiS-ljj praxtya 
‘development’ 



Derivational morphology and loanwords 


99 


Table 5.75: (continued) 


Affix 

Meaning 

Applies to 

Stem 

Derived form 




nimgaray 

‘insufficient’ 

nimgaritiya 

‘insufficiency’ 


state of being 

adjectives, 

including 

verbal 

adjectives 

kam ‘less’ 

kam axt ‘lack’ 

-axt 





jora 

‘built’ 

c_ a joraxt 

‘construction’ 




Jjujjl oredal 
‘to fall’ 

ca-a-jjI oraxt 
‘precipitation’ 

-mand 

experiencer 

/possessor 

Dari nouns 

sram 

‘shame’ 

oJla* j i sramanda 
‘ashamed person’ 




yjb honar‘art’ 

jj* honarmand 
‘artist’ 

-kar 

agent 

nouns 

aj tajraba 
‘experience’ 

tajrabakar 

‘expert’ 




bl ada 

‘performance’ 

jltfbl adakar ‘actor’ 

lA-s’ 

-ness, abstract 

noun 

Dari adjectives 

awsoda 

‘peaceful’ 

^ oaj—I awsoda gi 
‘peace’ 




oJu?" ganda 
‘rotten’ 

gandagi 

‘trash’ 

A 

-gar 

agent 

nouns 

oJu jj zranda 
•mill’ 

jZ Sjjj zrandagar 
‘miller’ 




a j>- xata ‘mud’ 

£\i>- xatgar‘mason’ 

Jlj- 

-wal 

owner or 

occupant 

nouns 

JP hati 
‘shop’ 

hatiwal 

‘shopkeeper’ 




haywad 

‘country’ 

haywadwal 

‘citizen’ 



100 


Nouns 


Table 5.75: (continued) 


Affix 

Meaning 

Applies to 

Stem 

Derived form 

-walay 

scope, volume 

nouns and 
adjectives 

der ‘big’ 

derwalay 

‘increase’ 




kam ‘short, 

small’ 

^yS kamwalay 
‘reduction’ 

aj -ya 

abstract noun 

Arabic nouns 

Jaj nazar 
‘perspective’ 

AjjjhJ nazarya 
‘opinion’ 




J^p amal 
‘action’ 

<lJL»p amalya 
‘implementation’ 

cuj 

-iyat 

abstract or 
plural noun 

nouns and 
adjectives 

mamur 

‘official’ 

mamuriyat 

‘duty’ 




dy&* masun 
‘safe’ 

ysj> masuniyat 
‘security’ 

cS -i 

abstract noun 

nouns 

masar 

‘leader’ 

ij;yu> masri 
‘leadership’ 




duxman 

‘enemy’ 

duxmani 

‘animosity’ 




. Cl jLj- 
xpalwak 
‘independent’ 

xpalwaki 

‘independence’ 




0lgran 
‘expensive’ 

^<1 JS grani ‘inflation’ 

4jw -na 

state of being 

verbs 

larxowal ‘to 

direct’ 

<ci jy larxowana 
‘direction’ 




JsS" katal‘to 
look’ 

katana ‘sight’ 

-unkay 

agent 

verbs 

xowal 

‘to teach’ 

jS^jyi xowunkay 
‘teacher’ 


calawal lS SojjU- calawunkay 

‘to manage’ ‘manager, driver’ 




Derivational morphology and loanwords 


101 


Table 5.75: (continued) 

Affix Meaning Applies to Stem Derived form 


(J .A.-oiT 
kamedal ‘to 
lessen’ 


kamedunkay ‘decline’ 
(n.) 


5.4.1.2 Compounds 

Many of Pashto’s noun compounds originate from loanwords, mostly from Persian. 
Some examples of compound nouns built from Pashto words are: 

• /orlarunay/ ‘poker’ (jj /or/ ‘fire’ + /laral/ ‘to stir’) 

• y.yzy /spinziray/ ‘old man’ ( yy /spin/ ‘white’ + ey /zira/‘beard’) 

• a;U- yJ /lmarxata/ ‘east’ ( y] /lmar/ ‘sun’ + a;U- /xata/ ‘rising’) 

More examples of compounds can be found in Section 6.8.3. 


5.4.2 Reduplication of nouns 

Pashto nouns denoting events can undergo reduplication to express duration or inten¬ 
sity of the event. These reduplicated nominals denote an event in either a causative 
(5.18; 5.19) or a circumstantial (5.20) relationship to that denoted by the finite verb. 

(5.18) . y> J* jl&j ‘v! 

pa wah-al-o wah-al-o mar-0 

INSTR beat-INF-PL.M.OBL beat-INF-PL.M.OBL dead-M.DIR 

su-0 

become. AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘He was beaten to death.’ (NW) 

(5.19) . ys> yj Aj . - - A- g Aj 

pa lik-al-o lik-al-o waxt-0 ra na 

INSTR write-INF-PL.M.OBL write-INF-PL.M.OBL time-M.DIR 1 from 

ter-0 su-0 

passed-M.DIR become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘I was so busy writing that I lost track of time.’ ( nw) 



102 


Nouns 


(5.20) . 4j>- 45 4j>- 4jbjj 451 j l-U?- 4 j -L»l 

asad-0 pa xanda-0 xanda-0 ra-ta 

Asad-M.DIR INSTR laugh-F.OBL laugh-F.OBL 1-to 

wa-way-al-a ca sinima-0 ta ma 

AOR-tell.PST-PST-3PL.M COMP cinema-F.OBL to NEG 

ck-a 

go.CONT.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Asad laughed and said to me, 'Don't go to the movies.” 

Nouns not derived from or related to verbs can also be repeated to indicate plural¬ 
ity or variety: 

(5.21) .(_$! L-S3j>- L-£jj J 4j j 

zmuz pa maktab-0 ki rang-0 rang-0 

1PL.STR.POSS in... school-M.OBL ...in color-M.DIR color-M.DIR 

xalak-0 di 

people-PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.PL.M 

‘In our school there are all kinds of people [our school is very diverse].’ ( swj 


5.4.3 Loanwords 

In addition to the irregular inflectional forms described in Section 5.2.6.2, Pashto has 
many words originating in Arabic, Persian, or Urdu, and others from Russian or En¬ 
glish, which are borrowed directly into Pashto and treated as if they were native Pashto 
words in terms of inflection. For example: 

• /samavar/‘samovar’(Russian); pi. 4jjjljL^» /samavaruna/ 

• j| /injinir/ ‘engineer’ (English); pi. /injiniran/ 

• \jjsA /mirza/‘clerk’(Persian); pi. /mirzayan/ 



Melissa Fox and Alina Twist 

6 Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 

6.1 Introduction 

This chapter describes the morphology of Pashto lexical noun modifiers—that is, ad¬ 
jectives, determiners, number terms, and interrogative adjectives—covering both case¬ 
marking and derivation. (For phrasal modifiers of nouns such as relative clauses, see 
Chapter 11.) It ends with a section on usage—attribution and predication, the use of 
adjectives as nouns, comparison, and the adverbial use of adjectives—including a dis¬ 
cussion of the typologically unusual feature of adverbial concord with nouns. 

Pashto adjectives precede the nouns they modify and are generally inflected to 
agree with those nouns in gender, case, and number, although some adjectives and 
other noun modifiers are never inflected. A few Class I adjectives take animate suffixes 
when modifying animate nouns (see Section 6.2.1.1.5). Demonstrative determiners can 
represent two or three degrees of proximity, depending on the dialect: proximal/distal 
or proximal/medial/distal. 

Our analysis has four inflectional classes of adjectives and largely corresponds 
with that presented for nouns in Chapter 5. Previous descriptions of inflectional classes 
(for both nouns and adjectives) have usually included stem allomorphy among their 
diagnostic features; we consider it separately and classify nouns and adjectives based 
solely on their inflectional suffixes. 


6.2 Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 

As with nouns (Section 5.2), the inflectional patterns of Pashto adjectives have received 
widely varying descriptive treatment. Other authors group the adjectives in four to 
seven categories, depending on the features considered to be diagnostic. We group 
the adjectives into four classes, based on the ending of the masculine direct singular 
form and the alternation between the masculine direct singular and the masculine 
oblique singular (which usually resembles the masculine direct plural form). Pashto 
adjective paradigms generally have fewer forms than noun paradigms. The ablative 
case (sometimes called oblique II or prepositional) seldom has a unique form: when it 
differs from the oblique form, it is usually identical with the vocative form. 


6.2.1 Inflectional classes of General Pashto adjectives 

Classes I and II include all adjectives that end in consonants in their citation form (mas¬ 
culine direct singular); Class II also includes those that end in /-a/. All such adjec¬ 
tives are stressed on the final syllable in this citation form. Classes III and IV comprise 



104 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


adjectives ending in stressed and unstressed vowels other than /a/, which includes 
diphthongs. 


6.2.1.1 General Pashto Class I 

6.2.1.1.1 Case-marking suffixes 

Class I adjectives are consonant-final in their citation form, as in /tas/ ‘empty’ or 
/ney/ ‘straight, direct’, and keep the stress on the final syllable of the stem. They 
are declined using the suffixes in Table 6.1. 


Masculine 


Singular Plural 


Direct -0 


Oblique 


> 


o 


Ablative <l 

-a 


Vocative 


Feminine 


Singular 


Plural 


LT 
; e e 


l_T 
-i w 


LT 

-e e 


J- 

-o 


l r 

-i w 


Table 6.1: GP Class I adjective suffixes 


This is the most populous adjective class. Adjectives in Classes II-IV are frequently 
regularized toward Class I by many speakers. This regularization is a major source of 
dialectal variation. 


6.2.1.1.2 Stem allomorphy 

In the Western dialects. Class I adjectives with certain stem shapes will undergo one 
of two processes of vowel mutation: 



Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


105 


1. Vowel Harmony 
a -> o/_Co 

Class I adjectives with the stressed stem vowel /a/ (W), such as Jb /plan/ 
‘broad’ or /dang/ ‘tali’, undergo regressive harmony in the feminine di¬ 
rect plural and in both oblique plural forms—when the suffix vowel is /o/—as 
shown in Table 6.2. 

2. Centralization 
a -> a/_C# 

Class I adjectives for which the last syllable in the masculine direct singular 
form is jj. /-war/, j >L /-gar/, /-jan/, or t - r »_ /-man/, as well as ordinal 

numbers ending in /-am/, undergo a different vowel alternation: the vowel 
/a/ of the final syllable centralizes to /a/ in feminine non-direct singulars and in 
all plural forms, irrespective of gender, as shown in Table 6.3 and Table 6.4. (To 
compare this stem allomorphy to that of Class lib nouns, see Section 5.2.4.3.) 

In other dialects these vowels do not mutate. Penzl (1955: 69.4) reports that some 
Kandahari speakers have the /a/ vowel in all case forms, so those speakers’ dialect 
lacks the alternation. 


6.2.1.1.3 Class I forms with stem allomorphy 

The paradigm for the adjective /spak/ Tight’ in Table 6.2 shows the Western di¬ 
alect’s Vowel Harmony rule. Table 6.3 and Table 6.4 show paradigms for the adjectives 
/zrawar/‘brave’and /yamjan/ ‘sad’, illustrating the centralization rule 

for the Western dialect. 



Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Masculine 


Feminine 


Singular 


Direct 

spaltE 
spak w 


Oblique 


spak-o e 



spak-o w 

Ablative 

Vocative 

spak-a e 
spak-a w 

spok-o w 


Singular 


spak-a e 
spak-a w 

urV" 
spak-e e 

spak-i w 


spak-e e 

cs^r" 
spak-i w 

spak-o e 
spak-o w 
spok-o w 


Table 6.2: GP Class I, stem alternation: /spak/ ‘light’ 


a~a Masculine Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

JAU 

zrawar 

jAU 

zrawar e 

s jAU 

zrawar-a 

yUAU 

zrawar-e e 



zrawar w 


ouAU 

zrawar-i w 

Oblique 


jjau 

zra war-o e 

AAU 

zrawar-e e 

JjAU 

zra war-o e 



zra war-o w 

<AA-> 

zrawar-i w 

zra war-o w 


Ablative 

zrawar-a 


Vocative 


Table 6.3: GP Class l,jj_ /war/ alternation: /zrawar/‘brave’ 






Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


107 


Masculine 


Feminine 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct 


Oblique 


yamjan 


yamjan e 
yamjan w 


4j 

yamjan-a 


yamjan-e e 



yamjan-i w 


yamjan-o e 
yamjan-o w 


yamjan-e e 
yamjan-i w 


yamjan-o e 
yamjan-o w 


Ablative 

yamjan-a 


Vocative 


Table 6.4: GP Class I, /jan/ alternation: /yamjan/‘sad’ 


6.2.1.1.4 Class I forms without stem allomorphy 

The paradigm for Class I adjectives lacking stem allomorphy is shown in Table 6.5. 




108 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Masculine Feminine 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct 


Oblique 


Ablative 


Vocative 


Table 6.5: GP Class I, consonant-final adjective, no alternation: /palwand/ ‘fat’ 


palwand 


palwand-e e 
palwand-i w 


j,UjL 

palwand-o palwand-e e palwand-o 

palwand-i w 


palwand-a 


6.2.1.1.5 Animacy in Class I adjectives 

When modifying animate nouns, some Class I adjectives may take the animate plural 
suffixes of Class I nouns, subject to the changes described in Section 5.2.3.2.1 for stems 
ending in a consonant (which all adjectives have); that is: 
g -> 0/C_ 

Therefore the animate plural suffix on adjectives is realized as 0L /-an/ (masc.dir.), 
/-ane/ (fem.dir.), or y\- /-ano/ (obi.), as in examples 6.1 and 6.2. 

(6.1) d\ 

masr-an oruna 

elder-PL.M.DIR brothers.M.DIR 

‘older brothers’ 



Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


109 


(6.2) I J _I 


paxtan-o masr-ano kasr-ano malgar-o 

Pashtoon-PL.M.VOC elder-PL.M.VOC younger-PL.M.VOC friend-PL.M.VOC 


‘Pashtoon friends, both young and old!’ 1 
See Section 6.9.2, Adjectives as Nouns, for further discussion of animate suffixes 
on adjectives. 


6.2.1.2 General Pashto Class II 

Class II adjectives can end in either a consonant or a stressed schwa (4_ /-a/). Except 
for the masculine singular ablative and vocative suffixes, the suffixes of Class II are 
inherently stressed. These stressed suffixes are the chief difference between Class I 
and Class II, although there are a few differences in suffix shape as well. Whether a 
consonant-final adjective belongs to Class I (stem-stressed) or Class II (suffix-stressed) 
is a property of the lexeme and is not predictable. 


6.2.1.2.1 Case-marking suffixes 

The Class II suffixes are shown in Table 6.6. 


Masculine Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

-0 

4_ 

4_ 

LT 



-0 

-a 

-e 

Oblique 

4_ 

> 

LT 

J- 


-0 

-6 

-e 

-6 

Ablative 

4_ 




Vocative 






Table 6.6: GP Class II adjective suffixes 


1 Standardized version of 6.2: jj\jzS ji\ 



110 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


6.2.1.2.2 Stem allomorphy 

Some GP Class II adjectives undergo stem allomorphy processes upon inflection, all 
of them stress-conditioned. The first. Syncope I, affects the final vowels of /a/-final 
Class II adjectives; the rest affect the stem vowels of consonant-final Class II adjectives 
(which either lower or delete when unstressed). Lowering affects only back vowels, 
but not all of them. It is not possible to predict which rule. Back Vowel Lowering or 
Syncope II, applies to a given consonant-final adjective. The rules are: 

1. Syncope I 

• V 2 ->0/V i_ 

• Vi^0/_V 2 

If suffixation results in two adjacent vowels and only one is stressed, the un¬ 
stressed vowel deletes. If both are stressed, the first vowel deletes. This rule 
applies to vowel-final adjectives, as seen in Table 6.7. 

2. Back Vowel Lowering 

^-stress] [+back, ^[-high] / ^0— 

In most Class II consonant-final adjectives with non-initial back vowels, j. /o/, 
/u/ lowers to /a/ when unstressed. This rule is illustrated in Table 6.8 and Table 
6.9. 

3. Monophthongization 

9 ff[+stress]W V.^gh] [ + back, 

• wa [tstress ] V.high] [+back, 

In adjectives with /aw/ or /wa/ in the stem, those sequences simplify to /o/ 
when stressed. An example of each can be seen in Table 6.10 and Table 6.11. 
Following application of this rule, any remaining /a/ is lengthened when the 
following syllable contains /a/, according to rule 4. 

4. Lengthening 
a -> a /_(C)Ca 

Short /a/lengthens to long /a/when the syllable following it contains /a/. This 
rule affects those adjectives that undergo Back Vowel Lowering, as in Table 6.8 
and Table 6.9, as well as those that undergo Monophthongization, as in Table 
6.10 and Table 6.11. Note that rules (2)—(4) must be ordered as stated above in 
order to account for the resulting allomorphy. 



Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


111 


5. Syncope II 

^ [-stress] ~^ ^ 

In a few consonant-final adjectives the stem vowel is deleted when not stressed, 
as shown in Table 6.12. 

6. Epenthesis 
0 -> a/C_CC 

If syncope results in a triple consonant cluster, an /a/ is inserted after the first 
consonant, as in Table 6.13. 

Note that ordering matters with these rules. Rule 2 feeds Rule 4, while Rule 3 bleeds it. 

6.2.1.2.3 Class II forms with stem allomorphy 

Vowel-final adjectives that end in stressed 4_ /-a/ in their citation form include 
/spera/ Tight grey, dusty’; see also Table 6.7 for a ^3 /tera/ ‘sharp’. These can be reliably 
identified from this citation form as belonging to Class II; no other class has adjectives 
ending in /-a/. The final stem-vowel of these adjectives undergoes one or other of the 
morphophonemic rules of Syncope I in Section 6.2.1.2.2. 


Masculine Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 






tera 

ter-a 

ter-a 

ter-e 

Oblique 





Ablative 

Vocative 


ter-o 

ter-e 

ter-o 


Table 6.7: GP Class II, -a-final adjective: a/tera/ ‘sharp’ 


In most consonant-final adjectives where the stem vowel is a back vowel, j. /o/, 
/u/, it will undergo vowel lowering in unstressed position, followed by lengthening 



112 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


o^a~a 

Masculine 

Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

CX 


4j>cJ 



pox 

pax-a 

pax-a 

pax-e 

Oblique 

As>~\j 


ltS 



pax-a 

pax-o 

pax-e 

pax-o 

Ablative 






pox-a 




Vocative 





able 6.8: GP Class II, back vowel lowering: 

t-jj /pox/ ‘cooked, ripe’ 


u~a~a 

Masculine 

Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 



sJjj 



rund 

rand-a 

rand-a 

rand-e 

Oblique 




J 


rand-a 

rand-o 

rand-e 

rando 

Ablative 






rund-a 




Vocative 






Table 6.9: GP Class II, back vowel lowering: /rund/ ‘blind’ 







Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


113 


when the next syllable contains /a/ (as shown in Table 6.8 and Table 6.9 for the adjec¬ 
tives /pox/‘cooked, ripe’and /rund/‘blind’, respectively). 

In adjectives with /aw/ or /wa/ in their stem, the vowel-glide combination sim¬ 
plifies to /o/ in stressed position, as expressed in Rule 4 and exemplified in Table 6.10 
and Table 6.11. 


o~aw~aw 

Masculine 

Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

V 



espy 


tod 

tawd-5 

tawd-a 

tawd-e 

Oblique 




yy 


tawd-5 

tawd-o 

tawd-e 

tawd-o 

Ablative 

>jj 





tod-a 




Vocative 






Table 6.10: GP Class II, back vowel breaking: iy /tod/ ‘hot’; stem = /tawd/ 


Finally, some consonant-final adjectives unpredictably undergo rule 5, Syncope II 
in unstressed position, as in Table 6.12, rather than lowering. Where this results in a 
three-consonant cluster, epenthesis of /a/ applies, as in Table 6.13. 

The patterns of stem allomorphy discussed above are lexical properties of partic¬ 
ular adjectives; also, underlying stems vary from dialect to dialect. For example, more 
Eastern- than Western-dialect adjectives undergo the monophthongization in Table 
6.11, indicating that their underlying stems contain /aw/ or /wa/ rather than /o/. The 
Eastern jy* /sor/ ‘astride’ and jy~ /xor/ ‘scattered’ both follow this pattern, but in 
the Western dialects these words (spelled and pronounced jyy /spor/ and jy>- /x- 
por/) decline according to the pattern shown in Table 6.8 for /pox/ ‘cooked, ripe’ 
and Table 6.9 for JJ y /rund/ ‘blind’. On the other hand, .sy /koz/ ‘crooked, bent’, 
like jy- /xoz/ ‘sweet’, declines in both dialects according to the example shown in 
Table 6.11. 

Table 6.11 also reflects the East—West dialectal correspondence g~z, traditionally 
represented in both dialects by the letter j (see also Table 3.8 and Chapter 4). In both 
.jS /koz/ and jy- /xoz/, the Eastern realization of the consonant as [g] is so en¬ 
trenched that the words may be spelled with instead of the standard j. 



114 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


o~wa~wa Masculine Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

jy- 





XOgE 

xwag-a e 

xwag-a e 

xwag-e e 


XOZ w 

xwaz-a w 

xwaz-a w 

xwaz-e w 

Oblique 






xwag-a e 

xwag-o e 

xwag-e e 

xwag-o e 


xwaz-e w 

xwaz-o w 

xwaz-e w 

xwaz-o w 

Ablative 






xog-a e 





xoz-a w 




Vocative 





able 6.11: GP Class II, back vowel breaking: jy- /xoz/ ‘sweet’; stem = /xwag/ or /xwaz/ 

u~0 

Masculine 

Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

JJ ^ 

V* 




sur 

sr -0 

sr-a 

sr-e 

Oblique 



j - 



sr-9 

sr-o 

sr-e 

sr-o 

Ablative 






sur-a 




Vocative 






Table 6.12: GP Class II, Syncope II: jj— 


/sur/ ‘red’ 







Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


115 


i~0 

Masculine 

Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 


A+J 


J-y 


trix 

tarx-a 

tarx-a 

tarx-e 

Oblique 

**-y 

y-y 

J-y 

y-y 


tarx-a 

tarx-o 

tarx-e 

tarx-o 

Ablative 

4j>cJ J} 





trfx-a 




Vocative 






Table 6.13: GP Class II, Syncope II and epenthesis: j /trix/ ‘bitter’ 


6.2.1.2.4 Class II forms without stem allomorphy 

Class II forms that do not have stem allomorphy are declined according to the pattern 
illustrated in Table 6.14. 





116 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Masculine Feminine 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct 

o' 

um 

um-a 

um-a 

c/J 1 

um-e 

Oblique 


rj \ 

c/J 1 

rj \ 


um-a 

um-o 

um-e 

um-6 

Ablative 






um-a 




Vocative 





Table 6.14: GP Class II, consonant-final adjective, no stem allomorphy: ^j\ 

/um/ ‘raw, green’ 


6.2.1.3 General Pashto Class III 

Class III adjectives in General Pashto end in what is etymologically a participial suffix, 
/-ay/, in their citation form, the masculine direct singular (see Section 8.2.9). This 
suffix may be stressed or unstressed, and the stress does not shift in inflected forms; 
thus these adjectives can be divided into two subclasses, according to stress position. 


6.2.1.3.1 Class Ilia 

Class Ilia contains adjectives in which the suffix /-ay/ is stressed, such as ^ 

/zaryay/ ‘vacillating’, /kamkay/ ‘small, little’, and <_sJJ Js /garanday/ ‘quick’. 

The suffixes for these adjectives are shown in Table 6.15, and the declension is exem¬ 
plified in Table 6.16 for /zalmay/ ‘young’. 2 


2 The word /zalmay/ also occurs in Pashto as a masculine first name. 




Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri — 117 


Masculine 

Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

LT 

-ay 

lt 

-f 

lt 

-ay 

U~ 

-ay 

Oblique 

l r 
-f 

> 

-0 E,W 


> 

-0 E,W 



-ayo e 


-ayo e 



-fo w 


-fo w 

Ablative 





Vocative 






-aya 




Table 6.15: GP Class Ilia adjective suffixes 





Masculine 

Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

zalm-ay 

<_r4j 

zalm-f 

zalm-ay 

zalm-ay 

Oblique 

zalm-f 

zalm-o e,w 


zalm-o e,w 



zalm-ayo e 


zalm-ayo e 



zalm-fo w 


zalm-fo w 


Ablative 


Vocative 



zalm-aya 


Table 6.16: GP Class Ilia: Lf Jj /zalmay/ ‘young’ 






118 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


6.2.1.3.2 Class lllb 

Class lllb contains adjectives in which the suffix /-ay/ is not stressed, such as L 
/piyawaray/ ‘courteous, well-bred, able, strong’, /staray/ ‘tired’, or /sunay/ 
‘possible’. The suffixes for these adjectives are shown in Table 6.17. 


Masculine Feminine 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct 

-ay 

-ay sw 

-e ne 

LT 

-i 

LT 

-e 


Oblique 

lt 

Ja- 




-i 

-yo e 

-ye e 

-yo e 



J- 

l r 

J- 



-O w 

-e w 

-0 w 

Ablative 





Vocative 


J- 

LT 

J- 


-ya e 

-0 

-e 

-0 


LT 





-e w 




Table 6.17: GP Class lllb adjective suffixes 


The masculine vocative singular form in GP Class lllb varies by region: Heston 
(1992:1568), writing about Eastern dialects, gives it as /-ya/, while Penzl (1955:72.3), 
writing about Kandahari (Western), gives it as /-e/. The latter form may be more 
frequent, even in the east, but both occur and both are understood. 

While all Class III adjectives have this historically participial suffix, most Class lllb 
adjectives are more transparently related to verbs than those in Class Ilia; for example, 
it is easy to see that <_s y* /saway/ ‘burnt’, presented in Table 6.18, is related to jy* 
/swal/ ‘burn’. 




Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


119 


Masculine Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

( Sy* 
saw-ay 

saw-i 

saw-e 


Oblique 

saw-i 

XT’ 

saw-yo e 

saw-ye e 

saw-yo e 



saw-o w 

saw-e w 

saw-o w 

Ablative 





Vocative 

4j 

saw-ya e 

saw-o 

saw-e 

saw-o 


saw-e w 





Table 6.18: GP Class lllb: /saway/ ‘burnt’ 


6.2.1.4 General Pashto Class IV (non-declining adjectives) 

Class IV adjectives end in simple vowels, and may be stressed on the final vowel or 
earlier in the word (unless the final vowel is /a/, in which event it is never stressed, as 
adjectives ending in stressed /a/ are Class II). Many adjectives borrowed from Arabic 
and Persian, such as /balbali/ ‘glamorous, sparkling’, 2I y /buala/ ‘obvious’, 
y-y^ /masnu'i/ ‘artificial’, and ^ /ma'nawi/ ‘moral, spiritual’, are members 
of this class. 

These adjectives generally do not decline, but some speakers use the oblique plu¬ 
ral suffixes y /-o/, jj. /-wo/ on these adjectives as they do in the other classes. This is 
likely a result of regularization of the oblique y /- o/ suffix by these speakers. Examples 
are shown in Table 6.19, Table 6.20, and Table 6.21. 



120 — Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Masculine Feminine 

Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct 

xayista 




Oblique 






xayista 

xayista 

xayista 

xayista 



j 





xayistawo e,w 


xayistawo e,w 








xayisto w 


xayisto w 

Ablative 





Vocative 






Table 6.19: GP Class IV: /xayista/ ‘pretty’ 


Masculine Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

yawazi 




Oblique 

Sj 'ji 


cSj'jd 



yawazi 

yawazi 

yawazi 

yawazi 



jjL* 

yawazo w 


yawazo w 


Ablative 

Vocative 


Table 6.20: GP Class IV: /yawazi/ ‘alone’ 








Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


121 


Masculine 


Feminine 



Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

hosa 




Oblique 

l_w jjb 

hosa 

hosa 

hosa 

L- 

hosa 



hosa wo e,w 


hosa wo e,w 



hosao w 


hosao w 

Ablative 





Vocative 






Table 6.21: GP Class IV: L» /hosa/ ‘comfortable’ 


6.2.2 Inflectional classes of Waziri adjectives 

Waziri adjectives can be divided into classes based on the ending of their citation form, 
but these classes do not align well with their GP counterparts. This section presents 
Waziri adjectives in four classes based on their similarity to the GP adjective classes, 
but we make no claim that the classes should be viewed as analogous. Most of the 
information below comes from Lorimer (1902). 


6.2.2.1 Waziri Class I 

Class I includes the majority of Waziri adjectives. These adjectives end in a consonant, 
an /e/ , or an /a/ in their citation form. The inflection patterns for Class I are shown 
inTable 6.22. 



122 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Masculine Feminine 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct -0 -0 -a -e 

-a 


Oblique -0 -e -e 

-a 


Table 6.22: Waziri Class I adjective suffixes 


6.2.2.2 Waziri Class II 

Class II adjectives end in /!/ in the masculine direct singular. They retain this ending in 
all cases except the plural oblique, in which they take the suffix /-e/ for both genders. 


Masculine Feminine 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct 


Oblique -e -i -e 


Table 6.23: Waziri Class II adjective suffixes 


6.2.2.3 Waziri Class III 

Class III adjectives end in /ay/ in the masculine direct singular. Table 6.24 shows the 
typical suffixes for adjectives of this type. Class III feminine adjectives may also follow 
one of two alternative patterns. They may retain the /-ay/ suffix invariably, as shown 
in Table 6.25, or they may exhibit an invariable form that adds the /-ye/ suffix directly 
to the /-ay/ suffix, as shown in Table 6.26. 



Inflectional classes in General Pashto and Waziri 


123 


Masculine Feminine 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct -ay -i -ye 


Oblique -i -ye 


Table 6.24: Waziri Class III adjective suffixes 


Masculine Feminine 


stem = lewan- 

Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

lewan-ay 

lewan-i 

lewan-ay 


Oblique 

lewan-i 

lewan-ye 



Table 6.25: Waziri Class III adjective with Fem. suffix /-ay/: /lewanay/ ‘mad’ 



Masculine 

Feminine 


stem = meran- 

Singular 

Plural 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 

meran-ay 

meran-i 

meran-ay-ye 


Oblique 

meran-i 

meran-ye 




Table 6.26: Waziri Class III adjective with Fem. suffix /-ye/: /meranay/ ‘matrilineally related’ 







124 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


6.3 Determiners and definiteness 

In this section we treat only the lexical determiners; the possessive determiner phrase 
is discussed in Section 9.3.1. Determination of Pashto nouns is optional. Demonstrative 
determiners are used to convey definiteness as well as relative proximity; the use of the 
number term jj /yaw/ ‘one’, alone or in combination, may convey indefinite specificity 
or nonspecificity. 

For the Middle dialects, it remains unclear whether demonstrative determiners 
decline differently than demonstrative pronouns, as they do in General Pashto, so we 
do not describe them separately here. 


6.3.1 Demonstrative determiners 

This section covers demonstratives acting as determiners; demonstrative pronouns are 
discussed in Section 7.5. The two inventories consist of segmentally identical items that 
differ in stress placement: disyllabic Pashto demonstrative determiners usually have 
initial stress, whereas final stress can indicate either contrastive or anaphoric function. 

Some Pashto dialects differentiate three levels of proximity: proximal, medial, and 
distal. Demonstratives are inflected for gender, number, and case, to different degrees. 

Penzl (1955: 80.5) remarks on a set of compound demonstratives which are found 
in both Eastern and Western dialects (the latter only in writing) in which the emphatic 
morpheme /ham/ is prefixed or procliticized to the demonstrative determiners. It ap¬ 
pears that they are used either anaphorically or exophorically; his examples include 
/hamdaya/ ‘this [very]’ and /hamaya/ ‘that [very]’. 

Two forms are used to express the proximal demonstrative, one based on b /da/, 
and the other based on apj /daya/. b /da/ does not inflect for gender or number but 
does inflect for case, as in Table 6.27. 


Direct b da 


Oblique/Ablative de 

_ : _ 

Table 6.27: Proximal demonstrative b /da/ 


The following examples of b /da/ as a demonstrative determiner with masculine, 
feminine, singular, and plural nouns illustrate the direct case form: 


Determiners and definiteness — 125 


(6.3) b 

da haldk-0 

this.DIR boy-M.DIR 

‘this boy’ ew 

(6.4) b 

da njdl-dy 

this.DIR girl-F.DIR 

‘this girl’ csw) 

(6.5) b 

da xalk-0 

these.DIR people-PL.M.DIR 

‘these people’ tsw> 

(6.6) b 

da njun-i 

these.DIR girl-PL.F.DIR 

‘these girls’ ( swj 

The following examples of b /da/ as a demonstrative determiner illustrate the 
oblique case form, /de/: 

(6.7) 1^2 Aj 

pa de kitab-0 ki 

in... this.OBL book-M.OBL ...in 

‘in this book’ ( swj 

(6.8) tb- 5 aj 

pa de kitabc-e ki 

in... this.OBL notebook-F.OBL ...in 

‘in this notebook’ (SW ) 

(6.9) ^ tb’ 5 aj 

pa de bay-uno ki 

in... these.OBL garden-PL.M.OBL ...in 

‘in these gardens’ 



126 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


(6.10) jijS” iji <0 

pa de kot-o ki 

in... these.OBL room-PL.F.OBL ...in 

‘in these rooms’ 

The other proximal demonstrative, apj /daya/, does not have distinct forms show¬ 
ing gender or number in the direct case form. In the oblique case form, there is a differ¬ 
ence between masculine and feminine in the singular, but not in the plural, as shown 
in Table 6.28. 

Note that the proximal demonstrative apj /daya/ and the medial demonstrative 
aAa /haya/ in Table 6.29 have initial stress. They contrast with similar forms having 
final stress that serve as alternative strong pronouns, as described in Section 7.2. 


Singular 


Plural 


Direct 


Oblique 


Masculine Feminine 

Ap: 
daya 

daya 

daya 


t/* 


daye e 

dayo 

daye e 

dayo 


doyo 

dayi w 



duyu 


Table 6.28: Proximal demonstrative apj /daya/ 


These phrases illustrate the demonstrative determiner ap^ /daya/ in its direct case 
forms: 

(6.11) apj 

daya kalam-0 
this.DIR pen-M.DIR 


‘this pen’ <m 



Determiners and definiteness 


127 


(6.12) aJL apj 

daya piyala-0 
this.DIR cup-F.DIR 

‘this cup’ tsw) 

(6.13) 4j apj 

days kalam-una 

these.DIR pen-PL.M.DIR 

‘these pens’ (S w) 

(6.14) JL apj 

days piyal-e 

these.DIR cup-PL.F.DIR 

‘these cups’ tsw 

The following phrases illustrate the demonstrative determiner apo /daya/ in its 
oblique case forms: 

(6.15) ( s ^ i 

dd daya sar-i 

of this.OBL man-M.OBL 

‘of this man’ 

(6.16) J 

da daye sack-e 

of this.OBL woman-F.OBL 

‘of this woman’ 

(6.17) jPi i 

dd dayo halok-ano 

of this.OBL boy-PL.M.ANIM.OBL 

‘of these boys’ 

(6.18) ^ 

dd dayo njun-o 

of this.OBL girl-PL.F.OBL 

‘of these girls’ 



128 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


The medial and distal demonstratives exhibit the same patterning as apj /daya/ 
with respect to gender, number, and case (Table 6.29). The multiple forms represent 
the considerable variation found in descriptions of these demonstratives in the litera¬ 
ture. The presence or absence of /h/ in some forms may reflect the variation noted by 
Elfenbein 1997; see Section 3.I.I.2. The variation between /o/ and /u/, and between /a/ 
and /a/, has been noted throughout this grammar, as has the /i/ ending characteristic 
of Western dialects. 


Singular 


Plural 


Direct 


Oblique 


Masculine Feminine 


haya 

haya 

aya 

aya 

haya 




haya 

hayo 

aye e 

ayo 


hayo 

hayi w 

ji-j* 

hayi w 

huyu w 


Table 6.29: Medial demonstratives 


The distal demonstrative has two variants, ap /huya/ and a pU /haya/. Both 
of these inflect in a manner similar to apj /daya/ and aAa /haya/, as shown in Table 
6.30. 



Determiners and definiteness 


129 


Singular 


Plural 


Masculine 


Feminine 


Direct 


jjh 

huya 

uya 

hoya 

Apl* 

haya 

haya 


Oblique 


huye 

uye 

haye 

h uyi w 


h uyo 
tiyo 

hayo 


Table 6.30: Distal demonstratives 



130 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


6.3.2 The indefinite determiner jj /yaw/ ‘one’ 

The number term jj /yaw/ ‘one’ serves as an indefinite determiner, as in the following 
sentences: 

(6.19) . Jjj <_£/• Jj5 jj J J i y>- 4j jj Ijhv^ j j^jj^a L 

namalum-o waslawal-o pa khost-0 ke da yaw 

unknown-PL.M.OBL armed-PL.M.OBL in... Khost-M ...in of one 

koran-ay tol-0 yar-i 

family-F.DIR all-PL.M.DIR member-PL.M.DIR 

0-waz-al-i 

CONT-kill-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

‘Unknown armed individuals killed all members of a family in Khost.’ 

(6.20) . i_jL^o- ^ u5hb 4j a JJ 

yaw-a koran-ay kaw-al-ay s-i 

one-F.DIR family-F.DIR do.CONT-PST-OPT become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

pa bank-0 ke hisab-0 praniz-i 

in... bank-M ...in account-M.DIR AOR\open.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘A family can open up an account at the bank.’ 

Note that the determiner may or may not be inflected. The morphology of jj /yaw/ 
‘one’ is discussed in Section 6.5. 

Babrakzai (1999:27-28) asserts that jj /yaw/ ‘one’ may compose with an indefinite 
quantifier to render a quantified indefinite noun phrase. 


6.4 Non-numerical noun quantifiers 

Noun quantifiers equivalent to English all, every, and none exist in Pashto, and as is the 
case for other languages, these quantifiers may also exist in construction with items 
other than nouns. 


6.4.1 The quantifier Jjj /tol-/ ‘all’ 

The quantifier JjJ /tol-/ ‘all’ appears to be multifunctional as both a noun and a deter¬ 
miner. When functioning as a noun, it triggers verb agreement and can function as the 
complete object of an adposition. It appears that under those conditions, its holonym 
may precede it, as we see in example 6.21. Its use in our data is predominantly as a 



Non-numerical noun quantifiers 


131 


determiner, where it precedes its noun and is the target, rather than the trigger, of 
agreement morphology. This can be seen in 6.22. 

(6.21) . j ailiXvd Jjjj Ji 

pa land-0 dawal-0 lik-al suw-ay 

INSTR short-M manner-M write-INF become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

far tso tol-0 lwustunk-i tre istafada-0 

up.to some all-PL.M.DIR reader-PL.M.DIR up.to.3 usage-F.DIR 

wa-kr-ay s-i 

AOR-do.AOR-OPT become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘[The articles] have been written concisely so that all readers are able to make 
use of them.’ 

(6.22) .ji jLJ ajjjl 1 

qacaq-i e tol-0 mulk-ina e por-a e 

smuggling-F.DIR of all-PL.M.DIR nation-PL.M.DIR of sake-M.ABL of 

tabah-i liyar-0 do 

destruction-F.OBL path-F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Smuggling is a path to destruction for all nations.’ <waz, 


6.4.2 The quantifier/har/, /ar/ ‘every’ 

As shown in 6.23, y s> /har/, /ar/ ‘every’ patterns as an adjective, preceding the noun 
it modifies: 

(6.23) L^ ^ ^ jl a^U^P ^ 

ddyn sura-0 ba pa har-o 15 wrack-o 

this.DIR council-F.DIR WOULD in... every-PL.OBL 15 day-PL.F.OBL 

ke ywanda-0 kaw-i aw da masum-0 da 

...in meeting-F.DIR do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.F] and of child-M.OBL of 

adabi-ato da prdxtiya-0 lar-e care 

literature-PL.M.OBL of development-F.OBL path-PL.F.DIR ECHO 

ba 0-tser-i 

WOULD CONT-investigate-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘The council will be meeting every 15 days and will be looking at ways to 
develop children's literature.’ 



132 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


It can combine with the indefinite pronouns to express the effect of everyone or 
everything, as shown in examples 7.56 and following. 


6.4.3 The quantifier /hets/ ‘none’ 

Similarly, the quantifier /hets/ (also pronounced /hits/) can combine with the 
indefinite pronouns, as shown in 6.24 and further exemplified in Section 7.7: 

(6.24) 

hets tsok wlar-0 na so-0 

none who.DIR gone-M.DIR NEG become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘No one was gone.’ (NW) 

It can also quantify other nominals, as shown in 6.25: 

(6.25) . jOj 4j j*-* JaAa Aj aj 

za bd haya pd hits dawal-0 ham 

1SG.STR.DIR WOULD 3SG.STR.DIR INSTR none manner-M also 

yawaze pre na gd-dm 

alone AOR\abandon NEG abandon.PRS-1SG 

‘I won’t ever leave him alone.’ 

Notice the concordant negative in the main clauses of both examples. 


6.5 Number names 

As is typical of many languages in northern South Asia, Pashto number names show 
great complexity and variation in formation of the number names over ten. They in¬ 
clude both additive and subtractive forms, as well as two systems of formation, one 
based on 10 and one based on 20. The terms in Table 6.38 are based on original field¬ 
work; 3 to our knowledge these data comprise the most complete picture of Pashto num¬ 
ber names collected thus far. 


3 These forms were elicited by Michael Mario in 2010 with native speaker informants resident in the 
US. 



Number names 


133 


6.5.1 Cardinal numbers in Pashto 

6.5.1.1 Morphology 

Number names all end in either stressed /a/ or a consonant and are difficult to sort into 
the regular nominal and adjectival classes. Previous descriptions of number name in¬ 
flection are not comprehensive and contradict each other in places. For example, some 
sources report that only jj /yaw/ ‘one’ and a o /dwa/ ‘two’ encode gender and case, 
while our data show this to be erroneous. The tables and statements in this section are 
a summary of what our data reveal; they hold for both adjectival and nominal uses of 
number names. Table 6.31, Table 6.33, Table 6.35 , and Table 6.36 show the optional 
inflectional suffixes for numbers one through four in General Pashto, while Table 6.32 
and Table 6.34 contrast the Waziri suffixation forms with those of General Pashto. 



Masculine 

Feminine 

Direct 

y 



yaw 

yaw 


©jj 



yawa 

yawa 

Oblique 


y 



yaw 






yawa 






yawe 

Ablative 



Vocative 

— 

— 


Table 6.31: GPjj /yaw/‘one’ 


Inflectional suffixes, while common, are optional on number names, as can be 
seen in sentences 6.26 and 6.27, where four takes a feminine plural direct suffix in the 
first example but is uninflected in the second. Inflection tends to be more frequent with 
jj /yaw/ ‘one’ and a o /dwa/ ‘two’: compare the forms for four and one in sentence 
6.28, where both tokens of four are uninflected while one is inflected. (Note these are 
nominal, not adjectival, uses.) The number name jj /yaw/ ‘one’ takes singular suffixes 
and all other number names take plural ones. 



134 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 



Masculine 

Feminine 

Direct 

yo 

yawa 

Oblique 

yawa 

yawe 


Table 6.32: Waziri /yaw/‘one’ 


Masculine Feminine 


Direct 

dwa 

aj.a 

dwa 


du 

dwe 



du 

Oblique 

aj.a 

dwa 



du 



dwo 


Ablative 



Vocative 




Table 6.33: GP ajj /dwa/‘two’ 




Masculine 

Feminine 


Direct 

dwa 

dwe 

Oblique 

dwe 

dwe 


Table 6.34: Waziri /dwa/‘two’ 







Number names 


135 



Masculine 

Feminine 

Direct 

dre 


Oblique 

dre 



dro 


Ablative 



Vocative 

— 

— 


Table 6.35: GP^jj /dre/‘three’ 



Masculine 

Feminine 

Direct 




tsalor 

tsalor 






tsalore 

Oblique 




tsalor 






tsaloro 


Ablative 



Vocative 

— 

— 


Table 6.36: GP jjiJ- /tsalor/ ‘four’ 



136 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


(6.26) . Aj j.^ 

kompyutar-0 kaw-dl-ay s-i ce 

computer-M.DIR do.CONT-PST-OPT become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] COMP 

lande tsalor-e bansatiz-e dand-e sar ta 

below four-PL.F.DIR basic-PL.F.DIR task-PL.F.DIR head to 

wa-rasaw-i 

AOR-deliver-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘A computer can perform the four basic tasks below.’ 


(6.27) . i_£j—'j Aj j ** 

zahdn-0 tsalor dand-e sar ta 0-rasaw-i 

brain-M.DIR four task-PL.F.DIR head to CONT-deliver-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘The brain performs four tasks.’ 


(6.28) jjL>- l£j~" c~j a ^ « jj>- aJjJ Aj ^ JlS~ Oljj Aj 

. flA J C~J^J o\jb Aj fljj jl jL&AaS"" Aj C Aj ^j 

pa rawan-0 leal ki pa fit/-a hawza-0 ki ndha dd 

in... current-M.OBL year ...in in... all-F.DIR area-F.DIR ...in nine of 

poliyo pex-e sabt suw-e 

Polio event-PL.F.DIR registration become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.F.DIR 

di ce tsalor ye pa helmand-0 tsalor pa 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.F COMP four 3.WK in... Helmand-M four in... 

kandahar-0 aw yaw-a pa farah-0 walayat-0 ki 

Kandahar-M and one-F.DIR in... Farah-F province-M ...in 

da 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘So far this year, nine cases of polio have been recorded in the region, of which 
four were in Helmand, four were in Kandahar, and one was in Farah.’ 4 

As in General Pashto, Waziri number names are difficult to categorize into regular 
nominal or adjectival classes. The number name /yaw/ ‘one’ is inflected for both gen¬ 
der and case, while /dwa/ ‘two’ is inflected only for gender. Other declinable cardinal 
number names are /sal/ ‘twenty’, /sal/ ‘hundred’, and /zar/ ‘thousand’, which are 
declined as masculine nouns as shown in Table 6.37. 


4 Standardized version of 6.28: cSj-i cl~j a a^j ^ ajy- aJjJ aj ^ Oljj aj 

. a J ^ Aj Ojj Aj jj1>- i -Cjdja Aj ^ jjfi-- i^T 



Number names 


137 



sel ‘twenty’ 

sel ‘hundred’ 

zer ‘thousand’ 

Direct 

sal-ina 

saw-a 

zar-gina 


sal-gina 



Oblique 

saline 

saw-e 

zar-gine 


sal-gine 




Table 6.37: Waziri plural forms of declinable number names 


6.5.1.2 Inventory 

The words for two through ten, and all the tens afterward (20,30,40, etc.), must simply 
be learned. Compound number names are usually constructed as follows: 

• for numbers 11—19, a form of the relevant single number name plus a form of 
/las/ ‘ten’; 

• for numbers 21—29, a form of the relevant single number plus, rather than JJ< /sal/ 
‘twenty’, a different form, j /wist/ ‘twenty’; 

• for numbers 31 and above, a form of the relevant single number combined phrasally 

with j i jii /ders/ ‘thirty’, jh>- /tsalwext/ ‘forty’, ^ /pancbos/ ‘fifty’, and 

so on. 

Between 11 and 19 and between 21 and 29, the “ones” part of the compound often un¬ 
dergoes some change. Between 31 and 69, alternate forms of two and three may be used 
(so, aji /dwa/‘two’but (J i J j.i /du ders/ ‘thirty-two’ or aj-i /dwa ders/ ‘thirty- 
two’, ^/dre/ ‘three’ but ^/dri ders/ ‘thirty-three’), but other “ones” do 
not change; between 71 and 99, jJ* /spag/ ‘six’ undergoes a vowel change in com¬ 
pounds; for example, Ljl ^ /spag awya/ ‘seventy-six’. The word /sal/ ‘hundred’ 
has an irregular plural a/sewa/ ‘hundreds’; above one hundred, number names 
are combined without further irregularity. 

Variants on this basic system exist. Many speakers of Pashto, instead of (or as an 
alternative to) /tsalwext/ ‘forty’, may use so /dwa sale/‘two score’ ne( 

or o /dwe sali/ ‘two score’ se ). Above 20, multiples of 20 may have this alternate 

-score form; some speakers also have half-score forms for multiples of 10, such as 

/spag nemi sali/ ‘six and a half score’ (130), and one or another special form 
for ninety, either /entsalornimi sali/‘four and a half score’or 

pdf /las kam sal/ ‘ten less [than a] hundred’. 



138 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


In further variations of the basic counting system, larger numbers ending in -nine 
are often given as, for example, ^^ jj /yo lorn pantfeos/ ‘one less [than] fifty’ 
rather than as c— y>- a; /na tsalwext/ ‘forty-nine’. Some speakers have this sub¬ 
tractive form as far back as numbers that end in -seven, going from ^ /spag 
ders/ ‘thirty-six’ to ^ /dre kam tsalwaxt/ ‘three less [than] forty’. Fi¬ 

nally, some large number names can be given in terms of which large round number 
they exceed, as in :> a^i /naha da pasa sal/ ‘nine above a hundred’ for 109 

(or even jj)J- a_^L a aj! /ata da pasa tsalor nimi sali/ ‘eight above four and 

a half score’— that is, 98). Further research will be required to identify which groups 
of Pashto speakers use which counting systems and under what circumstances. 

Table 6.38 shows the number names through 20 and some of the variation in larger 
number names for General Pashto. It also includes the numerals in Pashto script, pre¬ 
viously shown in Table 3.13; notice that although Pashto words are written right to left, 
numbers with more than one digit are written from left to right, so V '> ‘71’ and \ y ‘17’. 

Some forms of Waziri that contrast with those of General Pashto are given in Sec¬ 
tion 6.5.1.2. 


Table 6.38: GP numerals and number names 

Arabic Pashto Additive and 

numeral numeral 10-based forms 


Subtractive and 
20-based forms 


1 

\ 

y- 

yaw ‘one’ 

2 

Y 

aja 

dwa ‘two’ 

3 

r 

CSJA 

dre ‘three’ 

4 

¥ or i 


tsalor ‘four’ 
salor e 

5 

a or o 


pinza ‘five’ 
pincfca sw 

6 

9 orl 


spaz ‘six’ w 
spagE 

7 

V 

ajjl 

uwa ‘seven’ 

8 

A 

Aj| 

ata ‘eight’ 

9 


Aj 

na ‘nine’ w 




naha e 

10 

\ • 


las ‘ten’ 

11 


u^jy 

yawalas 

‘eleven’ 




Number names 


139 


Table 6.38: (continued) 


Arabic Pashto Additive and 

numeral numeral 10-based forms 


Subtractive and 
20-based forms 


12 

1Y 


dwalas 

‘twelve’ w 
dolas e 
duolas sw 
dawolas se 


13 

\r 


dyarlas 

‘thirteen’ 


14 


lAA 

tswarlas 

‘fourteen’ 


15 

) a 

AA 

pinzalas 
‘fifteen’ 
pindzalas sw 


16 

\9 


sparas ‘sixteen’ 


17 

\ V 

A?j' 

owalas 

‘seventeen’ 


18 

\ A 

A " 1 

atalas 

‘eighteen’ 


19 


u^y 

nunas 

‘nineteen’ w 




y^y 

nulas e 


20 

Y • 

A 

sal ‘twenty’ 

‘[one] score’ 

21 

Y) 


ya-wist ‘one [and] twenty’ w 
yawis e 


29 

Y 


naha-wist ‘nine *5" y_ 

[and] twenty’ Jfy 3 

yo kam ders 
‘one less [than] 
thirty’ 



na-wist se,nw 


^ y- 


yo lorn ders 
‘one less [than] 
thirty’ se 



ders ‘thirty’ 

cry , 3 

ders se 

&y 3 y- 

yaw-ders ‘one 
[and] thirty’ 


31 



140 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Table 6.38: (continued) 

Arabic Pashto Additive and Subtractive and 

numeral numeral 10-based forms 20-based forms 


37 

rv 


wa-ders ‘seven 
[and] thirty’ 

r 5 ' 

dre kam 

tsalwext ‘three 
less [than] forty’ 

38 

V" A 


ata-ders ‘eight 
[and] thirty’ 


dwa kam 

tsalwext ‘two 
less [than] forty’ 

39 

n 


naha-ders ‘nine 
[and] thirty’ 

^ y- 

yo kam tsalwext 
‘one less [than] 
forty’ 

40 

f. 


tsalwext ‘forty’ 


dwa sali ‘two 

score’ 

49 

n 


naha-tsalwext 
‘nine [and] forty’ 

^ y 

yo kam pancfeos 
‘one less [than] 
fifty’ 

50 

4 . 


pancfeos ‘fifty’ 



60 

9 • 


speta ‘sixty’ 


dre sali ‘three 

score’ 

70 

V- 

w 

awya ‘seventy’ 



80 

A- 

u 

atya ‘eighty’ 


tsalor sali ‘four 

score’ 

88 

AA 

U 4J| 

ata-atya ‘eight 
[and] eighty’ 

r 5 ' 

dwa kam tsalor 

nimi sali ‘two 

less [than] four 
and a half score’ 

89 

A<\ 

Lj! 

naha-atya ‘nine 
[and] eighty’ 

y. 

L S** 

yo kam tsalor 
nimi sali ‘one 
less [than] four 

and a half score’ 





^ u^jy 

J-* 1 

yawolas kam 
sal ‘eleven less 

[than a] 
hundred’ 

90 

V 

cSjj 

nawi ‘ninety’ 


tsalor nimi sali 

‘four and a half 

score’ 




Number names 


141 


Table 6.38: (continued) 

Arabic Pashto Additive and Subtractive and 


numeral 

numeral 

10-based forms 

20-based forms 





y 

las kam sal ‘ten 

less [than a] 
hundred’ 

98 

A 

<S y ^ 

ata-nawi ‘eight 
[and] ninety’ 

y 

y 

dwa kam sal 

‘two less [than 
a] hundred’ 





A— 1> 2 All 

jy 

y 

ata da pasa 
tsalor nimi sali 
‘eight above four 
and a half score’ 

99 


iSy H 3 

naha-nawi ‘nine 
[and] ninety’ 

J-" y y- 

yo kam sal ‘one 
less [than a] 

hundred’ 

100 

101 

) • • 

\ • \ 

J- 

y y 

sal ‘[a] 
hundred’ 

yo salu yo ‘one 
hundred one’ 



110 

) ) • 

4^1j 3 jj 

y y y- 

yo da pasa sal 
‘one above a 

hundred’ 

yo salu las ‘one 
hundred ten’ 






las da pasa sal 
‘ten above a 

hundred’ 



120 

) Y • 


yo salu sal ‘one 
hundred twenty’ 

c y y 

spag sali ‘six 
score’ 

121 

U) 

jj 

c- yjy 

yo salu 
yaw-wist ‘one 
hundred one 
[and] twenty’ 

3 jj 

y y 

yo da pasa spag 
sali ‘one above 

six score’ 

129 

) Y 

jL* y_ 

yo salu 

naha-wist ‘one 

hundred nine 
[and] twenty’ 

y. y y 

y* y 

yo kam yo salu 
ders ‘one less 
[than] thirty and 
a hundred’ 




142 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Table 6.38: (continued) 


Arabic Pashto Additive and Subtractive and 


numeral 

numeral 

10-based forms 

20-based forms 





jr 5, ^ Ji 

yo kam spag 
nimi sali ‘one 
less [than] six 

and a half score’ 

130 


J-*’ Ji 
Jfji* 

yo sal ders ‘one 
hundred thirty’ 

XT' 

«> 

spag nimi sali 
‘six and a half 

score’ 

139 

m 

y- 

JrjyHj 

yo sal 

naha-ders ‘one 

hundred nine 
[and] thirty’ 

Ji Ji 

yo kam yo salu 
tsalwext ‘one 

hundred [and] 
one less [than] 
forty’ 





4 jj' ^ y- 

yo kam uwa sali 
‘one less [than] 
seven score’ 

199 

\ 11 

H 4 J*" Ji 

yo sal 

naha-nawi ‘one 

hundred nine 
[and] ninety’ 

4 P ^ y- 
0 

yo kam dwa 
sawa ‘one less 
[than] two 

hundred’ 

200 

Y • • 

0 

dwa sawa ‘two 

hundred’ 



1000 

\ • • • 

JJ (ji) 

(yo) zar ‘(one) 
thousand’ 



1001 


y jj y- 

yo zar yo ‘one 
thousand one’ 





A^vlj 3 jj 

Jj 

yo da pasa zar 
‘one above a 

thousand’ 



2000 

Y . . . 

ijj ejl 

dwa zara ‘two 

thousand’ 



10,000 

) • • • • 

4 jj 

las zara ‘ten 

thousand’ 



100,000 

\. 

4 JJ J*" 

sal zara ‘[a] 

hundred 

thousand’ 







Number names 


143 


Table 6.38: (continued) 


Arabic Pashto Additive and Subtractive and 

numeral numeral 10-based forms 20-based forms 



JJ 

yo lak ‘one 
hundred- 

thousand’ 

1,000,000 \.... 

... 

las laka ‘ten 

hundred- 

thousand’ 

10,000,000 \.... 

Ji/ y- 


yo kror ‘one 
ten-million’ 


aSO 

sal laka ‘[a] 

hundred 

hundred- 

thousand’ 


The inventory of Waziri cardinal number names is very close to that of GP dialects 
described in Section 6.5.1.2. Forms that differ are listed in Table 6.39. 

In Middle dialects as in General Pashto, the number /sal/ ‘twenty’ can be used 
to count by scores, as in /dre kam owa sala/ ‘three less than seven score [137]’ or 
/spaz bondi owa sala/ ‘six over seven score [146]’. The word /sal/, meaning ‘hundred 
thousand’ in General Pashto, is not used to express an exact number; rather, it denotes 
some unspecified large number. 





144 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Number General Pashto Waziri 


1 

y 

yaw ‘one’ 

yo 

7 

SJjl 

uwa ‘seven’ 

owa 

8 

4ji 

ata ‘eight’ 

wota, otan 

18 

crk'i 

ata las ‘eighteen’ 

wotalas 

19 

o^y 

nunas ‘nineteen’ w 

ninas 

40 


tsalwext ‘forty’ 

tsalwest 

70 

Ijjl 

awya ‘seventy’ 

avia 


Table 6.39: Waziri number names that differ from GP forms 


6.5.2 Ordinal numbers in General Pashto and Waziri 

According to Tegey & Robson (1996: 83), there is no conventional way to express ordi¬ 
nal numbers using numerals. Ordinal number names, however, are formed by adding 
the suffix /-am/ ( /-am/ in the Western dialect) to the cardinal number name, as 
in jjiA- /tsalor/ ‘four’: ,»jjiA- /tsaloram/ ‘fourth’. (Penzl 1955: 76.2creports in addition 
the allomorphs /yam/ and /ham/ f.) Unlike most cardinals, ordinals inflect for number 
and gender, as well as case. They decline according to the special vowel-stem alterna¬ 
tion paradigm in Class I, as discussed in Section 6.2.1.1.2 and shown in Table 6.40 for 
/lasam/ ‘tenth’. 

If the cardinal number name ends in a vowel, this vowel is dropped before the 
suffix is added— aj! /ata/ ‘eight’: /atam/ ‘eighth’—but the vowels on a few number 

names are not dropped; instead, an epenthetic glide or sometimes an /h/ is added: 
a/dwa/ ‘two’: /dwayam, dwaham/ ‘second’ 

iS j-i /dre/ ‘three’: /dreyam, dreham/ ‘third’ 

4j /na/ ‘nine’: /nam/‘ninth’; ^ /naham/ ‘ninth’ (but /naha/‘nine’) 
/nam/, ^ g £» /naham/‘ninth’ 

Ljl /awya/‘seventy’: I /awyayam/‘seventieth’ 

iSy /nawi/‘ninety’: /nawiyam/‘ninetieth’ 

The ordinal first is entirely irregular; it may appear as ^^ /wrumbay/, jJ 
/lumray/, or the Arabic Jjl /awal/. Each of these declines as a regular member of Class 
Ilia (in the case of /wrumbay/ and /lumray/) or Class I (in the case of Jjl 

/awal/). 



Number names 


145 


Masculine 

Feminine 

Singular Plural 

Singular Plural 


Direct 

lasam 

lasam e 

lasam w 

lasama 

iasame e 

lasami w 

Oblique 


lasamo e 

lasamo w 

iasame e 

lasamo e 

lasamo w 

Ablative 

lasama 

— 

iasami w 



Vocative 


Table 6.40: GP Class I: /lasam/ ‘tenth 



146 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Ordinal numbers in Waziri are formed as in General Pashto, with a few exceptions. 
As in Pashto, the Waziri ordinals for first, second, and third show irregular forms, as 
does ninth; these are shown in Table 6.41. 



Masculine 

Feminine 

first 

awwal 

awwala 


dwayam 

dwayama 

second 

dweyam 

dweyama 


dwawam 

dwawama 

third 

dreyam 

dreyama 

ninth 

nem 

nemma 


Table 6.41: Waziri irregular ordinal number names 


6.5.3 Reduplication of number names 

The full reduplication of number names denotes iteration of individuals or groups (see 
Babrakzai 1999: 48). 

(6.29) .JpIj ijjz Ob /IS. 

sagord-an dre dre ray-dl 

student-PL.M.ANIM.DIR three three come.A0R.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘The students came in threes.’ (NW) 

(6.30) ObJb" aj 

za har waxt pindzo pindza kalam-an 

1SG.STR.DIR every time five five pen-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

0-gdrzaw-dm 

CONT-carry-lSG 

‘I always carry five pens.’ ( swj 



Interrogative adjectives 


147 


6.6 Interrogative adjectives 

The interrogative adjectives that occur in Pashto are shown in Table 6.42. They do not 
inflect for case or number. Only the first two forms show gender concord, and *S 
/kum/ ‘which?’ does so optionally. 

Interrogative adjectives of Waziri are described in Table 6.43. 


GP 

Translation 

kum (masculine); kumor<Uj£' kuma (feminine) 

‘which?’ 

tsowam (masculine) tsowama (feminine) 

‘which [number]?’ 

tsa 

‘what?’ 

ji- tso 

‘how many?’ 

a j*y>- tsumra, tsomra 

‘how much?’ 

tsona 


Table 6.42: GP interrogative adjectives 


Waziri 

Translation 

kirn (masculine); kirn or kima (feminine) 

‘which?’ 

tsowam, sowam (masculine) tsowama, sowama (feminine) 

‘which [number]?’ 

tso, so 

‘how many?’ 

tsura, sura 

‘how much?’ 


Table 6.43: Waziri interrogative adjectives 


Pashto has two words corresponding to English which?: *£ /kum/ ‘which?’ and 
/tsowam/, /sowam/‘which [number]?’. The answer to a f»jS" /kum/ ‘which?’ 
question would focus on some attribute (e.g., the brown one), while the answer to a 
^/tsowam/, /sowam/ ‘which [number]?’ question would include an ordinal num¬ 
ber (e.g., the fifth one). The interrogative * S /kum/ ‘which?’ is optionally invariant 



148 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


with respect to gender or may take the feminine form S /kuma/ ‘which?’ (femi¬ 
nine), while ^jy>- /tsowam/, /sowam/ ‘which [number]?’ has the feminine form jy- 
/tsowama/, /sowama/ ‘which [number]?’ (feminine). 

Some examples of their use are shown in sentences 6.31 through 6.35. 

(6.31) ^ ^ 

kum-0 sp-ay de wa-lid-0 

which-M.DIR dog-M.DIR 2.WK A0R-see.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Which dog did you see?’ (NW) 

(6.32) j ISCj (ji py 

sowam-0 kas-0 de pakar day 

which-M.DIR [number] person-M.DIR 2.WK need be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Which [number] person do you need?’ m 

(6.33) iyt 4&£-\ *>\j 4j 

pa tsd bala-0 axta saw-i 

INSTR what catastrophe-F.OBL affected become.A0R.PST-2SG 

‘What catastrophe happened to you?’ ( swj 

Pashto interrogative adjectives distinguish between count nouns and mass nouns. 
The former is y- /tso/, /so/ ‘how many?’. The latter is sy /tsumra/, /sumra/‘how 
much?’. 

(6.34) 

so sp-i de wd-lid-dl 

how.many dog-PL.M.DIR 2.WK A0R-see.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘How many dogs did you see?’ (NW) 

(6.35) cS- 5 

sumra wrij-e de wa-xwar-e 

how.much rice-PL.F.DIR 2.WK A0R-eat.PST-PST.3PL.F 


‘How much rice did you eat?’ (NW) 



Inflection of conjoined adjectives 


149 


6.7 Inflection of conjoined adjectives 

In the present aorist form of denominal verbs based on an adjectival root, the adjectival 
portion may be inflected in various ways when it governs conjoined objects of different 
genders. The adjective may be declined to reflect the default value of masculine plural, 
as seen in example 6.36, or it may be declined to agree with only the last item of the 
set, as in example 6.37. 

(6.36) 43 jjjjj jjj-S. ujU-jj J\$ 

. £ jj\jj £ jl ^ z j! -tjjj y>- 

carwak-i 0-way-i ce dd kunar-0 

official-PL.M.DIR C0NT-tell.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] COMP of Kunar-M.OBL 

walayat-0 carwak-i bd yawdzay 

province-M.OBL official-PL.M.OBL WOULD together 

suw-io marawdr-o oruno td 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.OBL offended-PL.M.OBL brothers.M.OBL to 

xwandi zwand-0 aw dd kar-0 kaw-dl-o 

safe life-M.DIR and of work-M.DIR do-INF-PL.M.OBL 

asantiya-we barabar-0 kr-i 

facility-PL.F.DIR prepared-PL.M.DIR do.A0R-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Officials say that Kunar officials will provide the reunited offended brothers 
with a safe life and facilities for working.’ 5 


5 Standardized version of 6.36: yjyy iS^-y c-j y£ s ^ jj U- 

. (S f tfjLsiU jU” - jl JJjj <d jijjj 



150 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


(6.37) c 4j (_$Aj j*j j& 

•<Sjf l£J. 4jj 1 c 

yarb-o hewad-uno td pdkar day 

west-PL.M.OBL country-PL.M.OBL to necessary be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

ce ... haywi td de talim-0 dd astogdn-e 

COMP ... 3PL.STR.OBL to NEC education-M.DIR of residence-F.OBL 


ckay-0 dd tsdk-dl-o Id par-a sahi 

place-M.DIR of drink-INF-PL.M.OBL from sake-M.ABL healthy 


oba-0 aw dd sahdt-0 asantiya-we 

water-F.DIR and of health-M.OBL facility-PL.F.DIR 

barabar-e kr-i 

prepared- PL.F.DIR do.AOR-PRS.3[PL.M] 


‘Western nations need to provide them with education, a place of residence, 
clean drinking water, and health facilities.’ 6 


6.8 Derivation of adjectives 

Pashto has several derivational suffixes and two prefixes that can be used to derive ad¬ 
jectives from nouns or verbs. They can affix to either native or borrowed words, as seen 
in the examples below. Adjectives can also form compounds, usually with nouns, to 
derive a new adjective. Descriptions and examples of all of these derived forms follow. 


6.8.1 Derivational suffixes 

Adjectives formed by the addition of suffixes vary as to which declension class they 
belong to. The examples below are arranged by class. 


6.8.1.1 Some Class I derivational suffixes 

• ^ /-man/ 

/stundza/ ‘problem’ -> /stundzman/‘troublesome, problematic, 

difficult’ 

i_Sl ij /wak/ ‘power’ -> t yS \j /wakman/ ‘powerful’ 


6 Standardized version of 6.37: <Sy^ ■ ■ ■ ^ yj. si y~>_ji- 

. ^^ a ajjI ajLJ a c 



Derivation of adjectives 


151 


jM /qadar/ ‘quantity; honor, merit’ 4 /qadarman/‘esteemed’ 

> /-iz/ 

a!j^» /sola/‘peace’4 j-j aJj^- /solayiz/‘peaceful’ 

/pohana/ ‘knowledge; education’ 4 j-aAjj /pohaniz/ ‘academic’ 

/' in / 

This suffix applies most often to nouns denoting a material. 

/pasm/ ‘wool’ 4 /pasmin/ ‘woolen’ 

jj /zar/ ‘precious metal; gold’ 4 /zarin/ ‘golden; gilded’ 

I*- /-am/ e /4m/ w 

This suffix forms ordinal number names from cardinals. See Section 6.5.2 for more 
detail. 

aJt-o /pinza/ ‘five’ 4 /pinzam/ ‘fifth’ 

yssj /zahr/ ‘poison’ 4 ^j&j /zahrjan/‘poisonous’ 

/yam/ ‘sorrow’ 4 /yamjan/ ‘sad’ 

jl-L /-dar/ 

i_d /ab/‘water’4 jlJjl /abdar/‘watery’ 

4jU^ /sarmaya/ ‘capital’ 4 jta ajU^ /sarmayadar/‘wealthy’ 

jj- /-(a)war/ 

jjj /zor/‘strength, force’4 jjjjj /zorawar/‘strong’ 

/xwand/‘taste’4 jjJJj4- /xwandawar/‘tasty’ 
aJ^>- /xwula/‘mouth; lips’4 jj aJj?- /xwulawar/‘eloquent; sharp-tongued’ 

ti'U. /-nak/ 

jja?- /xatar/ ‘[Arabic] danger; risk’ 4 ^S'lj/xatarnak/ ‘dangerous’ 

/himmat/ ‘[Arabic] magnanimity; mercy’ 4 /himmatnak/ ‘magnan¬ 

imous; noble’ 

J'j- /-wal/ 

aL*j /wasla/‘weapon’4 Jlj aL-j /waslawal/ ‘armed’ 



152 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


6.8.1.2 Some Class Ilia derivational suffixes 

• /-(a)nay/ 

This suffix is usually affixed to words having to do with time or location. 
ijj /taira/ ‘haste; urgency’ -> /birnay/‘urgent; emergency [ADJ]’ 

Jiff /kal/ ‘year’-> ^Iff /kalanay/ ‘annual’ 

• tr/-ay/ 

This suffix is usually affixed to place names to describe a denizen of that place. 
OLU- /japan/ ‘Japan’ -> /japanay/‘Japanese’ 

6.8.1.3 Some Class IV (non-declining) derivational suffixes 

• ^l-V 

This suffix is added to nouns—often loanwords, as in the first example below—or 
names of countries. 

pjta /daim/ ‘permanence [Arabic]’ -> /daimi/ ‘permanent’ 

/nesa/ ‘intoxication’ -> ^ /nesayi/ ‘addictive’ 

Iffj^l /amrika/ ‘America’-> /amrikai/ ‘American’ 

• 'fll/-wala/ 

AfxjL /panga/ ‘wealth’ -> /pangwala/‘wealthy’ 


6.8.2 Negators 

The first of these negators are prefixes. 

• _jj /be-/ ‘without; -less’ 

This prefix, from Persian, is affixed to nouns; the resultant form is an adjective of¬ 
ten translatable into a phrase governed by without or into an English adjective with 
the suffix -less. /be-/ is generally, but not always, written as a separate word, 
reflecting its origins as an adposition (see Section 9.3.3 for a description and some 
examples of this usage); however, the two morphemes function as a single word. 
Adjectives formed in this way can fall in either Class I or Class IV. With the addition 
of the ^ /-i/ suffix, these derived adjectives can further form Class Ilia nouns (see 
Section 5.4.1). 

i_A /ab/‘honor’-> i_A ^ /beab/‘shameless; dishonored’ 



Derivation of adjectives 


153 


^j\ /awlad/ ‘[Arabic] child’ -> a^j\ ^ /beawlada/‘childless’ 

/kor/ ‘house’ -> $jS ^ /bekora/‘homeless’ 

/sak/ ‘doubt’ -> ^ /besaka/ ‘irrefutable’ 

• _li /na-/ ‘not; un-’ 

This prefix attaches to adjectives and negates them; adjectives thus derived remain 
in the same declension class. 

Ijj /rawa/ ‘permitted; acceptable’ -> Ijjlj /narawa/ ‘not allowed; improper’ 
/dostana/ ‘friendly’ -> /nadostana/ ‘unfriendly’ 

The postposition /zidi/ ‘against, anti-’ (see Section 9.4.4) can govern an 

adpositional phrase that can be used attributively or predicatively to modify nouns: 

(6.38) ^ 

da dwar-a islami zidi padid-e 

this.DIR both-PL.DIR Islamic against phenomenon-PL.F.DIR 

di 

be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.F 

‘These events are both contrary to Islam.’ 


6.8.3 Compound adjectives 

Adjective and noun pairs can combine into a single compound adjective; the resulting 
form usually inflects as a Class Illb adjective (Section 6.2.1.3.2). The order of the ele¬ 
ments in the compound can be either noun—adjective or adjective—noun, and they 
may be written separately. 

j ^ /plar/‘father’+ ^ /mar/ ‘dead’ /plarmaray/ ‘fatherless; orphaned’ 

(Cf. s/beplara/ ‘fatherless’, which uses the negative prefix /be-/.) 

/spin/ ‘white’ + /max/ ‘face’ -> /spinmaxay/ ‘white-faced; 

honest; innocent’ 


6.8.4 Reduplication of adjectives 

Full reduplication of adjectives in Pashto may quantify over events rather than (or in 
addition to; see Babrakzai 1999: 48) intensifying the quality denoted. 



154 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


(6.39) . JjJ Oi>. 

ma xwag-a xwag-a yar-an 

1SG.STR.0BL sweet-PL.M.DIR sweet-PL.M.DIR friend-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

0-lar-dl 

C0NT-have-PST.3PL.M 
‘I had many good friends.’ (NW) 

To intensify an adjective, Pashto also uses yy /der/‘much’. 

(6.40) . Jjj O'jh j>- yi L* 

ma der-0 xwag-a yar-an 

1SG.STR.0BL much-PL.M.DIR sweet-PL.M.DIR friend-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

0-lar-al 

C0NT-have-PST.3PL.M 
‘I had very good friends.’ (NW) 


6.9 Usage 

6.9.1 Attributive and predicative adjectives 

Adjectives may be used attributively or predicatively. Predicative adjectives are always 
used in intransitive constructions, usually with a form of the verb to be, so they always 
appear in the direct case form; but they do agree in gender and number with the subject 
of the intransitive construction in which they appear. 

(6.41) .JIpIj y Ajjjj 

masr-an wruna me rayl-al 

older-PL.M.DIR brothers.M.DIR 1SG.WK come.A0R.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘My older brothers arrived.’ 

(6.42) ijzjj j 

pohantun-0 nazde day 
university-M.DIR near be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M 


‘The university is nearby.’ W ) 



Usage 


155 


(6.43) .ajf j>-\/ 

yat-0 yway-i karac-e kasa kr-a 

big-M.OBL bull-M.OBL cart-F.DIR pulled do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

‘The big bull pulled the cart.’ 

(6.44) .ijz 

yway-ay yat-0 day 

bull-M.DIR big-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘The bull is big.’ 

(6.45) .a a^p Ijp 

ywa-0 yat-a da 

cow-F.DIR big-F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘The cow is big.’ 


6.9.2 Zero-derivation of nouns from adjectives 

Pashto adjectives may be used as if they were nouns. When this occurs the adjective 
may be declined normally, as if there were a noun present; or, reflecting a gradual nom- 
inalization of such an adjective by speakers, it may be declined as if it were a noun, in 
which event it will take the suffixes of the noun class most closely resembling the ad¬ 
jective class to which it originally belonged. For example. Class I adjectives used nom¬ 
inally may take the animate plural suffixes JL /-an/ (masc.dir.), /-ane/ (fem.dir.), 

jjL /-ano/ (obi./abl./voc.), when they denote animates: 

(6.46) a^p (_£.s 

kum ywa-we de w-axist-al-e 

which cow-PL.F.DIR 2.WK AOR-buy.PST-PST-PST.3PLF 

me w-axist-dl-a 
1SG.WK A0R-buy.PST-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘Which cows did you buy? I bought a big [one].’ 

(6.47) . a f A^S 1 \_f AiA 

hay a yat-e karac-i kasa kr-a 

this.OBL big-F.OBL cart-F.DIR pulled do.A0R-PST.3SG.F 

‘This big [one] pulled the cart.’ 


yat-a 

big-F.DIR 



156 


Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 


Adjectives in the vocative case form can be used on their own, without nouns, as 
noted above: !aJJ /runda/‘blind[one]!’When used inanounphrase, vocative adjec- 
tives are uninflected, and the nouns take the vocative form: ! /rundsaraya/ 

‘blind man!’ 

6.9.3 Comparatives and superlatives 

Adjectives in Pashto do not have derived comparative or superlative forms. 7 Compari¬ 
son is accomplished with the use of adpositional phrases such as <0 ... aJ /la ... na/, 
4j ... ai /da... na/, ...as /da... tsexa/, or J /tar/‘up to, from, than’. The su¬ 
perlative uses the phrase from/of all, formed by using one of the comparative phrases 
and adding /tolo/ ‘all’ or JjJ /tol/ ‘whole’. Both are used with the ordinary pred¬ 
icative form of the adjective. See Section 9.3.5 and Section 9.5.2.1 for more discussion 
of comparative and superlative adpositional phrases. 

(6.48) .jlplj A^»lya ^ Aj 4A& a) 

la haya na der-0 star-ay melm-a 

from... that.OBL ...from more-M.DIR tired-M.DIR guest-M.DIR 

rayl-o 

come.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘The guest more tired than him arrived.’ 

(6.49) .jApIj 4^ly> Aj a) 

la tol-o na der-0 star-ay melm-a 

from... all-PL.M.OBL ...from more-M.DIR tired-M.DIR guest-M.DIR 

rayl-o 

come.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘The most tired guest of all arrived.’ 


6.9.4 Adjectives as adverbs 

Sometimes adjectives are used verbal or sentential modifiers. When used adverbially, 
however, they still show concord with the absolutive argument. See Section 10.2.7 for 
more discussion and some examples. 


7 There are two special comparative adjectives in Pashto, both of which are Persian borrowings. 
These are jXqj /behtar/‘better’and yu /batar/‘worse’. 



Anne Boyle David 

7 Pronouns 

7.1 Overview 

In all varieties, Pashto pronouns generally inflect for person, gender, number, and 
case; only the direct and oblique cases are distinguished. The cases are used slightly 
differently in pronouns than in nouns and adjectives: unlike nouns, pronominal direct 
objects take the oblique, not the direct case form. 

The pronouns of the Middle dialects behave similarly to those of General Pashto, 
but differ somewhat in form. Tables of Middle dialect forms, where they are known, 
follow the corresponding GP tables. Unless otherwise indicated in the table title or 
next to the form itself, the forms below can be assumed to be common to both Waziri 
and Dzadrani. 

Pashto has two sets of personal pronouns, which we term strong and weak, fol¬ 
lowing Tegey & Robson (1996: 65ff.). Strong pronouns are not restricted in their occur¬ 
rence, while weak pronouns may only occur in functions where they do not agree with 
the verb. (See Section 7.3 for more details.) 


7.2 Strong personal pronouns 

7.2.1 Forms in General Pashto and Middle dialects 

Called simply personal pronouns by Penzl (1955), Shafeev (1964), and Heston (1992), 
strong personal pronouns 1 distinguish between direct and oblique case in the singular, 
but not in the plural. As in many languages, the plural second person forms are also 
used for formal second-person address. Only the third person singular forms distin¬ 
guish gender. In the singular first and second persons, the strong personal pronouns 
appear in the oblique case in the direct object of present tense sentences, unlike nouns, 
which appear in the direct case in this position. 

An additional pronoun, /haya/, can be used with distal third person reference. 
It is related to the medial demonstratives described in Section 7.5, but unlike them it 
has final stress. Ajut /haya/ does not inflect in either gender in the singular direct, and 
these singular forms are also the same in the masculine singular oblique. Feminine 
singular oblique, plural direct, and plural oblique each have their own forms. 


1 Penzl (1955) and Heston (1992) analyze personal pronouns as only occurring in the first and 
second persons, with the function of third person personal pronouns being filled by a subset of the 
demonstratives. 



158 


Pronouns 



yr 

mung e 
munz w 


Oblique 


vr 

munga e 
munza w 


Table 7.1: GP strong pronouns, 1st and 2nd person 

1st 2nd 

Singular Plural Singular Plural 

Direct za miz ta tos(e)E 

miz(a) dza 

Oblique mo to 

Table 7.2: Middle dialect strong pronouns, 1st and 2nd person 

Singular Plural 

Masculine Feminine 


Direct 

day 

b 

da 

iSj* 

duy 

_ 

Oblique 


& 

did 


da 

de 



Table 7.3: GP strong pronouns, 3rd person 










Strong personal pronouns 


159 


Direct 


Oblique 


Singular Plural 


Masculine 


day 


da 


Feminine 

day 

do , , 

_ derdewAz 

doy dza 

di 

de 


Table 7.4: Middle dialect strong pronouns, 3rd person 


Singular Plural 


Direct 


Oblique 


Masculine Feminine 


haya 

haya 

haya 


iSj*-* 

hayuy 

ayuy 

aya 


iSj*-* 

aya 

haye 

hayuy 


aye 

ayuy 


hayo 

ayo 


Table 7.5: Distal 3rd person pronoun aAa /haya/ 



160 


Pronouns 


Another pronoun, apj /daya/, inflects just like a<C& /haya/. It appears to connote 
something about information status; for example, perhaps the speaker cannot remem¬ 
ber the name of the person or thing intended, or wishes to conceal it. Forms with apj 
/ daya/ may also serve as discourse-anaphoric elements, as in 7.1 and 7.2: 

(7.1) 

daya mi 0-way-al 

this.DIR 1SG.WK CONT-tell.PST-PST.PL.M 

‘I was saying...’ 

In 7.1, the speaker is not really focusing on what he was going to say. In contrast, 
in 7.2, the speaker is communicating specifically about what he was going to say: 

(7. 2) .Jjj a*a 

haya mi 0-way-al 

that.DIR 1SG.WK CONT-tell.PST-PST.PL.M 

‘That is what I was going to say.’ 

As mentioned, demonstratives and strong pronouns have many overlapping forms. 
For forms that are segmentally identical we have said that the strong pronouns are 
stressed on the last syllable, while the demonstratives are stressed on the first syllable. 
Penzl (1955) and Heston (1992) provide an additional perspective on this stress alterna¬ 
tion. Forms with final stress can be said to be anaphoric. In contrast, forms with initial 
stress can be said to be anticipatory, emphatic, or exophoric. 

Examples 7.3 and 7.4 illustrate final-stressed anaphoric pronouns: 

(7.3) A^A a! l j~J 

pas la hay-a 
after from that-M.OBL 

‘after that’ 

(7.4) A> aAa j 

wa hay-a ckdy-0 ta 

to... that-M.OBL place-M.OBL ...to 

‘to that place’ 

In contrast, consider 7.40 and 7.41, which show initial-stress indexical usage: they 
introduce something new. 



Strong personal pronouns 


161 


7.2.2 Usage 

Pashto is known as a pro-drop language. Since Pashto verbs show person agreement, 
strong pronouns can carry redundant information, and may therefore be omitted when 
they agree with the verb. For example, either 7.5, with an explicit pronoun, or 7.6, with¬ 
out one, is correct; context will usually determine whether or not to omit the pronoun. 
Including the pronoun might be done when starting a conversation or otherwise intro¬ 
ducing new information, or for emphasis, as in 7.7: 

(7.5) . y\ aj 

za amrikayi yam 

1SG American be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘I'm American.’ 

(7.6) . 

amrikayi yam 

American be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘I'm American.’ 

(7.7) . ai iSj ta j! {£2 ijy y- pj 4j aj 

za waz-ay nd yam xu 

1SG.STR.DIR hungry-M.DIR NEG be.CONT.PRS.lSG but 

day waz-ay day aw 

3SG.M.STR.DIR hungry-M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M and 

da taz-ay da 

3SG.F.STR.DIR thirsty-F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘I'm not hungry, but he is hungry and she is thirsty.’ ( swj 

In accordance with split ergativity, the Pashto verb agrees with the subject in the 
present tense, and with the direct object or intransitive subject in past tense sentences; 
see Section 5.1.3.5 and Chapter 8. 

Strong pronouns distinguish direct and oblique case forms. As with nouns, direct 
case forms are used for subjects in present tense sentences, as shown in 7.5, and for 
direct objects in past tense sentences: 

(7.8) . 'y- aj 

za la tsawlc-ay jag-ed-am 

1SG.STR.DIR from chair-F.OBL tall-become.CONT.PST-lSG 


‘I was getting up from the chair.’ 



162 


Pronouns 


In past tense transitive sentences, the subject takes the oblique case form and the 
direct object takes the direct case form: 

(7.9) . sj 

ta zd wd-lid-dm 

2SG.STR.OBL 1SG.STR.DIR AOR-see.PST-lSG 

‘You saw me.’ 

Note that the direct object pronoun, which is the trigger of agreement, can be omit¬ 
ted from sentence 7.10: 

(7.10) to 

ta wd-lid-dm 

2SG.STR.OBL AOR-see.PST-lSG 

‘You saw me.’ 

But the subject argument cannot, as shown by the ungrammatical example 7.11: 

(7.11) .fjJjoj* 

zd wd-lid-dm 

1SG.STR.DIR AOR-see.PST-lSG 

‘You saw me.’ 

The oblique case form of the first and second persons in the singular is also used 
for the direct object in present tense sentences. Note that this use of the oblique case 
for a direct object is particular to these strong personal pronouns and does not occur 
in nouns or adjectives, where direct objects take direct case suffixes: 

(7.12) .fjj to 

ta 

2SG.STR.OBL 

‘I see you.’ ( swj 

(7.13) to» 

ma 0-ckdwraw-e 

1SG.STR.OBL CONT-distress-2SG 

‘You disturb me.’ ( sw) 

The third person strong personal pronouns take the direct case form when serving 
as accusative arguments in present tense sentences. This reflects the normal behavior 
of the direct case in Pashto: 


0-win-dm 

CONT-see.PRS-lSG 



Strong personal pronouns 


163 


(7.14) .JJJ a; 

ta day 0-win-e 

2SG.STR.DIR 3SG.M.STR.DIR CONT-see.PRS-2SG 

‘You see him.’ 


7.2.3 Strong possessive pronouns 

There is a paradigm of strong personal pronouns that serve genitive functions. These 
forms exist only for the first and second person and appear to derive historically from 
the preposition j /da/ followed by the oblique forms of the pronouns (Babrakzai, 1999: 
30). In most dialects, the j /da/ is lenited to a fricative and assimilated in the first and 
second persons, so that y /s/ appears before /t/ and j /z/ appears before /m/. In 
the Eastern dialects (or, according to Tegey & Robson 1996: 70, all dialects but their 
Central or Kabul group), these forms may appear unreduced with a /di/ or /da/. Since 
there is no third person form, strong possessive pronouns do not distinguish gender. 

These forms may appear in any position that would admit the corresponding phrase 
with i /da/, including as the object of what otherwise would be a circumposition con¬ 
taining j /da/ (see 8.22 for an example). 

(7.15) . iOjji j jy> 

zma motar-0 birun walar-0 day 

1SG.STR.POSS car-M.DIR outside standing-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘My car is standing outside.’ csw 

(7.16) 4j ljuv 

sta kor-0 certa day 

2SG.STR.POSS house-M.DIR where be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Where is your home?’ <sw) 

Compare 7.17 with the weak pronoun in 7.28; although either a weak or a strong 
pronoun is possible, the strong form can be used for emphasis while the weak form 
cannot. 

(7.17) Uj b 

da zma kitab-0 day 

this.DIR 1SG.STR.POSS book-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘This is my book.’ ( swj 

An alternative way of expressing possession with strong pronouns (and the only 
way, in some dialects) is to use the construction j /da/ + Strong Pronoun, as in 7.18. 
See Section 9.3.1.1 for more discussion. 



164 


Pronouns 


Singular Plural 


1st 


Uj y_r*j 

zma zmungE 

zmunz w 

zmugE 
zmuz w 

zmunga e 


2nd 


ls*- 

sta 


stase e 


stasi w 


'S~.~ 

stasu e 
staso w 


Table 7.6: Possessive pronouns 


(7.18) aJ- iji i 

da de num-0 tsa day 

of 3SG.F.STR.OBL name-M.OBL what be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘What is her name?’ ( sw) 


7.3 Weak personal pronouns 

7.3.1 Forms 

The weak personal pronouns are also called uninflected pronominal particles (Penzl, 
1955: 87) and enclitic pronominal particles (Heston, 1992: 1574). They are unstressed 
pronouns that do not inflect for case and cannot govern agreement with the verb, a 
constraint that restricts where they may occur (see Section 7.3.2 for more discussion 
and examples). Note that the third person uses the same form for singular and plural, 
and the first and second person plural each use a single form. 



Weak personal pronouns 


165 



Singular 

Plural 

1st 


r 


me e 

mo e 


Lff* 

r 


mi w 

mu w 



r' 



am w 

2nd 




de e 






di w 


3rd 

ye 



Table 7.7: GP weak pronouns 



Singular 

Plural 

1st 

me dza 

be dza 

mi waz 

(a)m dza 

2nd 

de dza 

di waz 


3rd 

(y)e 



Table 7.8: Middle dialect weak pronouns 



166 


Pronouns 


7.3.2 Usage 

Weak pronouns may not appear in positions in which they would agree with the verb. 
From this fact it follows that (1) they never occur with intransitive verbs, and (2) with 
transitive verbs, they only occur in an accusative role in the present tense and an erga¬ 
tive role in the past. Thus they do not occur in either the nominative or absolutive slot. 
Table 7.9 summarizes the positions in which weak personal pronouns may occur or 
not; this pattern parallels the case-marking pattern exhibited by strong pronouns, as 
outlined by Table 11.6. Sentences in Section 7.3.2.1 (some of which come from Tegey & 
Robson 1996) illustrate these restrictions. 2 


Transitive Subject 


Intransitive Subject 


Direct Object 


Non-past tenses 


DOES NOT OCCUR 


MAY OCCUR 


Table 7.9: Distribution pattern for weak pronouns 


Past tenses 


MAY OCCUR 


DOES NOT OCCUR 


With the above occurrence restrictions, weak pronouns are used for subjects, di¬ 
rect objects, and (without further marking) possessive determiners, but not as objects 
of adpositions, and they do not inflect for case. In contrast with nouns, which will be 
in the direct case when the object of a present tense sentence and in the oblique case 
when the subject of a past tense transitive sentence, the weak pronouns will have the 
same form in these two positions. 

Weak pronouns are second-position clitics - see Section 11.2.3.2 and Section 11.3.5.1 
for discussion. Section 11.3.5.1 also gives examples of various positions of weak pro¬ 
nouns in a clause. 


7.3.2.1 Occurrence restrictions 

The example in 7.19 shows that a weak personal pronoun may express an accusative 
argument in the present tense, but the unacceptable sentences in 7.20 and 7.21 shows 
that it may not be in the nominative slot. 


2 Roberts (2001a: 127-153) offers a different analysis. 





Weak personal pronouns 


167 


(7.19) ^ Jj 

wali me mac-aw-i 

why 1SG.WK kiss-do.C0NT-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Why is he kissing me?’ (NW) 

(7-20) . ^ * 

ye mac-aw-i mi 

3.WK kiss-do.C0NT-PRS.3[SG.M] 1SG.WK 

‘He is kissing me.’ 

(7.21) ^ Ji * 

nan ye 0-gad-ig-i 

today 3.WK C0NT-dance-PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Today he is dancing.’ (NW) 

The sentence in 7.22 shows the acceptability of a weak pronoun as a subject in the 
past tense: 

(7.22) y 

mac-aw-dl-am ye 

kiss-do.CONT-PST-lSG 3.WK 

‘He was kissing me.’ 

On the other hand, the unacceptable sentences in 7.23 and 7.24 show that a weak 
personal pronoun may not express an intransitive subject or a direct object: 

(7.23) . ^ ^ Ojj j * 

parun mi mac-aw-dl-am ye 

yesterday 1SG.WK kiss-do.CONT-PST-lSG 3.WK 

‘Yesterday he was kissing me.’ csw 

(7.24) . aJj^" Ojjj # 

parun ye 0-gad-ed-d 

yesterday 3.WI< C0NT-dance-PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Yesterday he was dancing.’ (S w) 

Published sources (Tegey & Robson, 1996: 156) and our research indicate that 
weak pronouns cannot be the objects of adpositions. Example 7.25 shows a phrase 
where the weak pronoun is simply omitted. Example 7.26, which is unacceptable, and 



168 


Pronouns 


7.27, which is acceptable, show that the weak pronoun cannot appear as the object of 
an adposition. 

(7.25) . {Pj (Jjjj y 

tar pori wlar-dm 
up.to.up.to go.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I went up to it.’ ( swj 

(7.26) j> # 

par di 0-xej-dm 
on 2.WK CONT-step.PRS-lSG 

‘I step on you.’ (S w) 

(7.27) . f ^3~ b 

par ta 0-xej-dm 

on 2SG.STR.OBL CONT-step.PRS-lSG 

‘I step on you.’ <sw) 


73.2.2 Possessive constructions 

Weak pronouns are also used in possessive constructions (except in conditions of coref¬ 
erence; see Section 7.9), so long as the weak pronouns do not occur in sentence-initial 
position: 

(7.28) .C$1 ^ b 

da mi kitdb-0 day 

this.DIR 1SG.WK book-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘That is my book.’ (S w) 

(7.29) . ^ iJjj 

zuy-0 mi 0-gdd-ez-i 

son-M.DIR 1SG.WK CONT-dance-PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘My son is dancing.’ (S w) 

In possessive constructions with weak pronouns, the pronouns are sometimes 
written attached to the word they follow, and the /y/ in ^ /ye/ may be elided in pro¬ 
nunciation (Tegey & Robson, 1996): 



Deictoids: \j /ral,ji /dar/, and jj /war/ 


169 


(7.30) 

kitab-0 e 
book-M.DIR 3.WK 

‘his book’ 3 

This pronunciation is in fact standard in the spoken dialects of the Northeast, and 
before recent reforms in orthography, the pronoun was regularly spelled with a hamza 
instead of a ye; in fact, it still is by some speakers. Furthermore, many speakers when 
asked for the pronoun in isolation will offer a spelling pronunciation based on the 
hamza, pronouncing it with a glottal stop: [?e]. 

Possessive constructions are also formed with strong personal pronouns, as dis¬ 
cussed in Section 7.2.3. 


7.4 Deictoids: /ra/.ji /dar/, and jj /war/ 

Pashto has three sets of deictic morphemes that closely resemble each other formally 
and semantically, to the extent that most authors classify these forms under one rubric. 
They are variously called pronominal prefixes (Penzl, 1955: 87-88), directive pronouns 
(Shafeev 1964: 33 and Babrakzai 1999: 33), directional particles (Lorenz 1982: 66 — 
Richtungspartikels— and Skjaervp 1989:393), independent pronominal particles (Heston, 
1992:1574) and verbal clitics (Roberts, 2000:105ff). In addition to being homophones 
or near-homophones, these sets of forms share two other qualities: first, they encode 
either personal or directional deixis; and second, they are bound to some extent, ei¬ 
ther as clitics or as prefixes. Some authors specifically refer to at least some of them as 
“proclitics” (Roberts 2000:106; Pate 2012:17,19); however, more research is required 
before definitive statements of their morphological status can be made. 

In recognition of the fact that these morphemes are so frequently and so easily 
conflated (and also of their probable diachronic relationship), we refer to them with 
the umbrella term deictoids, which we use to signify that these forms can be either 
person-deictic or spatial-deictic. Then adapting two different, binary distinctions from 
Tegey (1977) and Pate (2012) respectively, we divide them into three types, which we 
describe in the following sections. 

Both Tegey (1977:105ff.) and Penzl (1955: 87) report two forms for the second and 
third person: jj /dar, dar/‘you (sg/pl)’, and jj /war, war/ ‘him/her/it/them’. Tegey 
specifies that the forms in a are what he calls deictic preverbs (corresponding to, we 
believe, both our oblique pronominal clitics and our directional verbal clitics). Those 
in a are what he (and we) call the deictic prefixes. Because the o/a distinction only 
holds for stressed vowels (and two of the three types of deictoids never bear stress). 


3 Standardized version of 7.30: ^ 



170 


Pronouns 


and because most descriptions do not mention these different forms for the deictoids, 
we cannot be sure how real or how general this vowel variation is. 


7.4.1 Oblique pronominal clitics 

As oblique pronominal clitics, the forms lj /ra/ ‘me/us’, /dor/ ‘you (sg/pl)’, and jj 
/war/ ‘him/her/it/them’ occur as objects of postpositions in place of strong pronouns 
or noun phrases. They distinguish person, but not number or gender (and thus are 
glossed only by a person numeral—1, 2, or 3). In this role, Tegey (1977) considers them 
to be a type of weak personal pronoun and sometimes refers to them as weak oblique 
pronouns or (see also Pate 2012) oblique clitic pronouns. They cannot take stress, and 
they occur only with postpositions—not with prepositions or circumpositions: 

(7.31) . J- a^ lj 4j Ta. 1 

asad-0 pesawar-0 to ra sara ck-i 

Asad-M.DIR Peshawar-M.OBL to 1 COMIT go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Asad is going to Peshawar with me.’ ( swj 

(7.32) . lj 43 ^ 

kitab-0 mi dar na w-axist-0 

book-M.DIR 1SG.WK 2 from AOR-take.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I took the book from you.’ ( sw) 

(7.33) .£$3 jj 

kitab-0 mi war bandi is-ay 

book-M.DIR 1SG.WK 3 on CONT\put.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 
‘I put the book on it.’ ( swj 

These sorts of adpositional phrases almost always directly cliticize to the verb. If 
the postposition is monosyllabic, the adpositional phrase bears no stress, but if it is 
disyllabic and the phrase is in construction with unstressed forms of the copula, the 
second syllable of the postposition will be stressed: 

(7.34) . ai a j^ lj 
ra sard da 

1 with be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 
‘It's with me [lit. I have it].’ 



Deictoids: Ij /ra/,jj /dar/,and jj /war/ 


171 


Person Form 


1st 

b 

ra 

2nd 



dar 

3rd 

JJ 


war 


wur e 


Table 7.10: Oblique pronominal clitics 


7.4.2 Directional verbal clitics 

Directional verbal clitics can occur with a variety of verbs, although usually ones that 
indicate movement (see Section 8.2.4.3) or transport/transfer of an object, often with 
a locative goal of here (near me), there (near you), or there (yonder; near him, her, or 
them). They never receive stress: if the verb they are in construction with expresses the 
aorist aspect, the aorist is encoded with the.j /wo-/ prefix. This is the chief difference 
between directional verbal clitics and deictic prefixes. 

(7.35) j ^ aj 

za ye ra 0-ywar-am 

1SG.STR.DIR 3.WK 1DVC CONT-want.PRS-lSG 

‘I send for him.’ 

(7.36) . ajLSs^ji 4j aj ^>\j 

ka ras-e za bd album-0 dar-skara 

if come.AOR.PRS-2SG 1SG.STR.DIR WOULD album-M.DIR 2DVC-clear 

kr-am 

do.AOR-lSG 

‘If you come I will show you the album.’ ( sw) 

The following sentence, from Tegey (1977:46), illustrates the functional difference 
between oblique pronominal clitics and directional verbal clitics. In it, jj /war/ is in 



172 


Pronouns 


the role of the former, and lj /ra/ the latter. Note that jj /war/unambiguously denotes 
a person, and \j /ra/ denotes a location that is indexed deictically to a person. 

(7.37) . Aj jj jjj jj ( J-b 

xusal-0 yaw topak war ta ra-wa-leg-a 

Khoshal-M.DIR one gun-M.DIR 3 to lDVC-AOR-send.PST-PST.3SG 

‘Khoshal sent him a gun where I am [lit. here/to me].’ 


7.4.3 Deictic prefixes 

Deictic prefixes also occur with verbs, but only the four verbs or verb stems in the list 
below. Furthermore, they behave like bound morphemes with respect to their verbs, 
rather than like clitics: they take the stress that encodes aorist forms, and only clitics 
and negative particles may intervene between them and the verb stem. 

• Jjj /wral/ ‘to carry’; 

for example, Ij /ra-wral/ ‘to bring here/to me’ 

• JL" /tlal/ ‘to go’; 

for example, JAx .p /dar-tlal/ ‘to go there/to you’ 

• Jyf /kawal/‘to make; to do’; 

for example, J Sj * /war-kawal/ ‘to give to him’ 

• c—j- /-wast/; 

for example, lj /ra-wastal/ ‘to transport here/to me’ 

These forms usually express a deictic goal. See Section 8.2.4.3 for more about them. 


7.5 Demonstratives 

As described in Section 6.3.1, there is significant formal overlap between demonstrative 
pronouns and demonstrative determiners in Pashto, with the only difference being 
in stress placement: demonstrative pronouns have final stress. They are covered in 
this section; Section 6.3.1 contains examples of demonstrative determiners. To express 
the proximal demonstrative, there are two forms, one based on b /da/, and the other 
based on /daya/. b /da/ does not inflect for gender or number, but does differ by 

case, as illustrated in Table 7.11, reproduced from Table 6.27 in Section 6.3.1. 

The following examples show the use of these forms as a demonstrative pronoun 
in the direct and oblique cases, respectively: 



Demonstratives — 173 


Direct 

b 


da 

Oblique 



de 


Table 7.11: GP proximal demonstrative b /da/ 

Direct 

(d)a 

Oblique 

de 


Table 7.12: Middle dialect proximal demonstrative b /da/ 


(7.38) . b 

da sa day 

this.DIR nice be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘This is nice.’ 

(7.39) a) ^ 

pas Id de 
after from this.OBL 

‘after this’ 

The other proximal demonstrative, apj /daya/, does not have distinct forms show¬ 
ing gender or number in the direct case. In the oblique case, there is a difference 
between the masculine and feminine forms in the singular, but not in the plural, as 
shown in Table 7.13. 

Note that the proximal demonstrative pronouns ap. 5 /daya/ and the medial demon¬ 
strative 4 j«_a /haya/ in Table 7.16 have final stress. They contrast with similar forms with 
initial stress that serve as demonstrative determiners as described in Section 6.3.1. 

The medial and distal demonstratives illustrate the same patterning with respect 
to gender, number, and case as apo /daya/; this is shown in Table 7.16. 



174 


Pronouns 


Singular Plural 


Direct 


Oblique 


Masculine Feminine 


4io 
day-a 
day-a 
day-a 




day-e e 

day-o 

day-e e 

day-o 


doy-o 



day-f w 



Table 7.13: GP proximal demonstrative <uo /daya/ 



Singular 

Plural 


Masculine 

Feminine 


Direct 

day(-a) 



Oblique 

day(-a) 

day-e 

day-e 


Table 7.14: Waziri proximal demonstrative /daya/ 


Singular Plural 


Masculine Feminine 


Direct 


day-a 


Oblique day-e day-e day-e 

dey(-e) dey-e dey-e 

day-a 


Table 7.15: Dzadrani proximal demonstrative /daya/ 





Demonstratives 


175 


Singular Plural 


Masculine Feminine 


Direct 

hay-a 

hay-a 



Oblique 

ay-a 

ay-a 

hay-e e 



hay-a 

hay-o 



ay-e E 

</■* 
hay-f w 

hay-f w 

ay-o 

hay-o 


Table 7.16: GP medial demonstrative /hay-a/ 


Singular Plural 



Masculine 

Feminine 


Direct 

(h)ay-a 



Oblique 

(y)ay-a 

(y)ay-e 

(y)ay-e 


hay 

hay-e 

hay-e 


Table 7.17: Waziri medial demonstrative /aya/ 


Singular Plural 



Masculine 

Feminine 


Direct 

ay-a 




ay-a 



Oblique 

ay-a 

yey-e 

yey-e 


Table 7.18: Dzadrani medial demonstrative /aya/ 



176 


Pronouns 


The following (from Tegey & Robson 1996) are illustrations of the General Pashto 
demonstrative pronoun in its various word forms. Note that the gender of the under¬ 
stood yet absent noun affects the gender of the pronoun: 

(7.40) [aj>s^>-j AjtA jj 

par hay-a wd-xej-a 

on that-M.OBL AOR-step-IMP.SG 

‘Step on that! [referring to masculine item, like a rug, bridge, etc.]’ 

(7.41) jj 

par hay-e wd-xej-a 
on that-F.OBL AOR-step-IMP.SG 

‘Look at that! [referring to feminine thing, like a rock, an insect, etc.]’ 

The General Pashto distal demonstrative has two variants, ap /huyo/ and apU 
/hays/. Both of these inflect in a manner similar to apo /daya/ and aAa /haya/. 


Singular Plural 


Masculine Feminine 


Direct 


Oblique 


4PjA 

huy-a 


uy-a 

hoy-a 

Apt* 


hay-a e 
hay-a e 


huy-e 

uy-e 

hay-e 


huy-o 

uy-o 




hay-o 


Table 7.19: GP distal demonstrative a s-y> /huy-a/ 


7.6 Interrogative pronouns 

The set of Pashto interrogative pronouns reflects the usual human vs. non-human at¬ 
tribute of the potential referent. 



Interrogative pronouns 


177 


Table 7.20 and Table 7.21 show the forms for the human interrogative and indefinite 
pronoun, for General Pashto and for the Middle dialects respectively. This pronoun 
inflects for case, but not for number or gender. 


Case 

Form 

Direct 



tsok 

Oblique 

U- 


ca 


Table 7.20: GP human interrogative pronoun ijf J- /tsok/ 


Case 

Form 

Direct 

tsok WAZ 


tsik DZA 


tsek mir 

Oblique 

ca 


Table 7.21: Middle dialect human interrogative pronoun /tsok/ 


The direct case form is used for nominatives and accusatives of present tense sen¬ 
tences, and for direct objects in past tense sentences. Questions in Pashto do not use 
a different word order than statements. 

(7.42) Sy~ 

tsolc ray-ay 

who.DIR come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 


‘Who came?’ 



178 


Pronouns 


(7.43) 

tsolc raz-i 

who.DIR come.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Who is coming?’ (NW) 

(7.44) 

tsok 0-win-e 

who.DIR CONT-see.PRS-2SG 

‘Whom do you see?’ gw 

(7.45) j 

zalm-i tsok wa-wah-a 

Zalmay-M.OBL who.DIR AOR-hit-PST.3SG.M 

‘Whom did Zalmay hit?’ 

The oblique case form is used for objects of adpositions and subjects of transitive 
verbs. As noted in Section 7.3.2, the personal pronoun that agrees with the verb is gen¬ 
erally dropped, whether it be the subject (as in the present tense example at 7.46) or 
the object (as in the past tense example at 7.47): 

(7-46) 43 U- 

ca fa 0-way-e 

who.OBL to C0NT-talk.PRS-2SG 

‘Whom are you talking to?’ ow 

(7.47) ^jJj U- 

ca wa-lid-am 

who.OBL AOR-see.PST-lSG 

Who saw me?’ (sw 

The possessive interrogative whose? is expressed by using the oblique form U- 
/ca/ ‘who’ with the preposition j /da/ ‘of’ (example from Tegey & Robson 1996): 

(7.48) U- j aAa 

ay a da cd kitab-0 day 

that.DIR of who.OBL book-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Whose book is that?’ 

For nonhuman referents, /tsa/ ‘what’ is used. It is invariant: it has the same 
form regardless of case, gender, or number. 4/tsa/ can act pronominally, appearing 



Indefinite pronouns 


179 


alone as in 7.49, or adjectivally, appearing with a noun as in 6.33 of Section 6.6. In 7.50 
the word order reflects the requirement that weak pronouns appear in second position. 

(749) ^3 iji i 

da de num-0 tsa day 

of 3SG.F.STR.OBL name-M.DIR what be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

What is her name?’ (sw) 

(7.50) ^ ^ 

tsa mi wa-kr-a 

what 1SG.WK A0R-do.A0R-PST.3SG.M 

‘What did I do?’ (SW) 

While *J- /tsa/ does not inflect for number, it tends to be interpreted as plural, so 
a verb agreeing with it will often be in the plural: 

(7.51) ^ 

ta tsa 0-arw-ed-al-i di 

2SG.STR.0BL what CONT-hear-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘What [things] have you heard?’ <m 


7.7 Indefinite pronouns 

In Pashto, indefinite pronouns are identical in form to interrogative pronouns (exam¬ 
ples 7.52 and following from Tegey & Robson 1996). In order to distinguish sentences 
with indefinites from questions, jj /yaw/ ‘one’ may be added, to yield S *>- jj /yaw 
tsok/ ‘someone’ and jj /yaw tsa/ ‘something’. 

(7.52) > 
tsok ray-ay 

who.DIR come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 
‘Someone came.’ 

(7.53) .a^jj aj U- 

kitab-0 ca ta wark-a 

book-M.DIR who.OBL to give.AOR-IMP.SG 


‘Give the book to someone.’ 



180 


Pronouns 


(7.54) ,iS_f if* A>- 

tsa me nd di kar-i 

what 1SG.WK NEG be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.M do.AOR-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

‘I haven't done anything.’ (S w) 

(7.55) cu>-j jj z tS i jS- jj 

yaw tsok da malgar-i kor-0 ta da dod-ay 

one who.DIR of friend-M.OBL house-M.OBL to of food-F.DIR 

xor-al-o par waxt-0 wary-ay 

eat-INF-PL.M.OBL on time-M come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

‘Someone showed up at my friend's house during mealtime.’ 

When yt /har/, /ar/‘every’precedes the indefinite pronouns, the combination can 
mean everyone, everything, as in 7.56 and 7.57 (after Tegey & Robson 1996). A similar 
meaning can also be conveyed by jj yt /har yaw/‘each one’. 

(7.56) .JJipI j* 

har-0 tsok rayl-al 

every-PL.M.DIR who.DIR come.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘Everyone came.’ 

(7.57) .<_$:> is/ ^ 

har-0 tsa me kar-i 

every-PL.M.DIR what 1SG.WK do.AOR-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

di 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 
‘I have done everything.’ (S w) 

(7.58) . aJ-Jj jj U 

ma har-0 yaw-0 wa-lid-a 

1SG.STR.OBL every-M.DIR one-M.DIR AOR-see.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I saw each one (NW) 

The phrase aJ- yt /har tsa/ can also express an indefinite pronoun meaning ‘what¬ 
ever; anything and everything’: 



Expressions of coreference 


181 


(7.59) ! 4j 4 _a 4j>- jfs 

har-0 tea ye sam-aw-oma nd 

every-M.DIR what 3.WK correct-do.CONT-lSG NEG 

sam-eg-i 

correct-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘However much I [try and] straighten them out, they just don't straighten!’ 
The negative indefinites (analogous to no one/anyone, nothing/anything) are formed 
using /hets/ ‘any’ with the indefinite pronoun. The verb is also negated. 

(7.60) . aJ_J 4j j 4j>- Ls 

ma hets-0 sa wa nd lid-d 

1SG.STR.0BL none-M.DIR what AOR NEG see.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I didn't see anything.’ mw 

(7.61) . aAJ 4j j . K 

hets tsok-0 me wa nd lid-a 

none who.DIR 1SG.WK AOR NEG see.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I didn't see anyone .* (NW) 

(7.62) 

hets tsok wlar-0 nd so-0 

none who.DIR gone-M.DIR NEG become.A0R.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘No one was gone.’ (NW) 


7.8 Relative pronouns 

The interrogative/indefinite pronouns (jf y- /tsok/ and /Isa/ can be employed with 
the complementizer /ca/ to form relative clauses (as in 11.78). This is discussed at 
greater length in Section 11.4.1. 


7.9 Expressions of coreference 

Pashto uses two kinds of items for expressing coreference: the emphatic adjective (Tegey, 
1979) J~>- /xpal/ ‘own’ (masculine), aL>- /xpala/ ‘own’ (feminine), and the reflexive 
pronoun 0U- /chan/ ‘self’ (oblique form *3U- /cbana/). /xpal/inflects as a Class 
I adjective (Section 6.2.1.1), while jU- /chan/ inflects for case only. 



182 


Pronouns 


The emphatic adjectives function as possessives in conditions of coreference, in 
complementary distribution with the weak pronouns (see Section 7.3; these examples 
are from Tegey & Robson 1996): 

(7.63) c-alsS” 

ahmad-0 xpal-0 kitab-0 rawor-0 
Ahmad-M.OBL own-M.DIR book-M.DIR AOR\bring.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Ahmad brought his [own] book [here].’ 

(7.64) .jjjIj ^ 

ahmad-0 ye kitab-0 rawor-0 
Ahmad-M.OBL 3.WK book-M.DIR AOR\bring.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Ahmad brought his [another's] book [here].’ 

In keeping with the item’s grammatical category of adjective, the gender of the 
emphatic possessive agrees with the object possessed, not with the possessor: 

(7.65) • 

ahmad-0 xpal-a kitabca-0 rawr-a 

Ahmad-M.OBL own-F.DIR notebook-F.DIR AOR\bring.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘Ahmad brought his [own] notebook.’ 

(7.66) .^jlj s- pij* 

maryam-0 xpal-0 kitab-0 rawor-0 
Maryam-F.OBL own-M.DIR book-M.DIR AOR\bring.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Maryam brought her [own] book.’ 

When reduplicated, the adjective L>- /xpal/ expresses distributed possession. 

(7.67) . a j AjjijLoJ tjX>- Jp*- oU j>- aj 

parun pa jumdt-0 ki har-0 ca 

yesterday in... mosque-M.OBL ...in every-M.OBL who.OBL 

xpal-0 xpal-0 jay-0 namaz-una 

own-PL.M.DIR own-PL.M.DIR place-M.DIR prayer-PL.M.DIR 

rawar-i wa 

bring.CONT.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3PL.M 

‘Yesterday each person in the mosque brought his own prayer rug.’ <m 
The item 0U- /chan/ (/chon/ in Waziri: see 7.70) signals coreference with another 
nuclear term, and may appear in direct object and adpositional object positions. As 
shown in the examples that follow, person information may, but need not, be expressed 



Expressions of coreference 


183 


in the form of a weak pronoun (see also examples 8.12 and 8.42). Tegey (1979) suggests 
that the weak pronoun precedes the emphatic, but all of the examples we have found 
show the order emphatic > weak pronoun. 

(7.68) . yy 4j ^ 0b>- 

dzan-0 me na so-0 

self-M.DIR 1SG.WK NEG become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

ting- aw- dl-ay 
tight-do.CONT-PST-OPT 

‘I couldn't pull myself together.’ 

(7.69) . y 'yj Aj aA^ 

hay a pa bira-0 dzan-0 tar sirin-ay 

3SG.M.STR.0BL INSTR haste-F.DIR self-M.DIR up.to Shiranai-M.OBL 

o-rasaw-al-u 

AOR-deliver-PST-PST.SG.M 

‘He hurriedly got himself near Shirinai.’ 

(7.70) dzon-0 ye badal-0 k-a 

self-M.DIR 3.WI< changed-M.DIR do.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘He disguised himself .* (WAZ-L) 

(7.71) . aJa-Ij ^ aJa-Ij 

da rup-ay w-axl-a dzan-a ta 

this.DIR rupee-F.DIR AOR-take.PRS-IMP.SG self-M.OBL for 

tsapl-ay ham w-axl-a 

sandals-F.DIR also AOR-take.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Take the money and buy some sandals for yourself.’ 

The emphatic and reflexive may appear in combination: 

(7.72) OjLp 0U- J-A- p 

da xpal-0 dzan-0 da par-a 

of own-M.DIR self-M.DIR from sake-M.ABL 


‘for oneself’ 



184 


Pronouns 


7.10 Reciprocal pronouns 


In Pashto, the reciprocal relationship can be expressed by Jj jl jj /yaw aw bal/ ‘one 
and other’, or by the shorter Jj jj /yaw bal/ ‘one other’. Depending on context, the 
reciprocal can also be expressed by aJu aJ jj /yaw la bala/ ‘one from other’. These 
reciprocal expressions do not inflect for person or gender. Case inflection does occur, 
as the word aJu /bala/ ‘other’ in aJu aJ jj /yaw la bala/ ‘one from other’ is in the ablative 
case. 

Another way of expressing reciprocal relationships can be found in Section 10.2.3.1. 

(7.73) . ^ 4j Jj jj j! ' 

ahmad-0 aw mahmud-0 yaw bal-0 ta sdra 

Ahmad-M.DIR and Mahmoud-M.DIR one other-M.OBL to COMIT 

0-gur-i 

CONT-look.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Ahmad and Mahmoud see each other.’ (S w) 


(7.74) . 4jL>- aJu a) 

ahmad-0 aw mahmud-0 yaw la bal-a xafa 

Ahmad-M.DIR and Mahmoud-M.DIR one from other-M.ABL angry 

di 

be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘Ahmad and Mahmoud are angry at each other.’ (S w) 

Pashto has at least one other strategy for conveying reciprocal reference—see Sec¬ 
tion 10.2.3.1. 


7.11 Other pro-forms 

See Section 9.6 for a description of some other pro-forms in Pashto. 



Anne Boyle David and Sarah Goodman 

8 Verbs 

8.1 Overview 

8.1.1 Properties of verbs 

As Grjunberg (1987: 111) observes, Pashto verbal morphology is uncharacteristically 
complex compared to the verbs of other Iranian languages. Probably for this reason, 
among others, descriptions of Pashto verbs vary widely both in the way they analyze 
and explain verbal forms and also in the data they present. In this chapter we try to 
reconcile the data and information in those descriptions, supplementing it with ad¬ 
vice from Pashto language experts and data obtained from native speakers we have 
interviewed. In doing so, we have also reorganized, to some degree, the way Pashto 
verbs have been presented previously, taking from each approach the aspects that we 
believe have the strongest empirical foundation. 

The morphology of verbs in the Middle dialects does not differ significantly from 
that of General Pashto verbs. Some suffixes show variant forms, as do the verb to be and 
the verbalizers. The differences are covered in Section 8.2.2, Section 8.2.8.1, Section 
8.2.8.2, and Section 8.2.8.3. 

Verb constructions in Pashto encode the following categories morphologically: 

• tense (present, past) 

Pashto has no morphological future tense. We agree with Penzl (1955: 93) that the 
clitic aj /ba/ is not strictly a future clitic, but a modal one. See Section 10.1.2.1 for 
more discussion of what it conveys. 

• aspect (continuous, aorist) 

What we call continuous and aorist are usually called imperfective and perfective in 
other descriptions of Pashto. See Section 8.2.5.1 for an explanation of our change in 
terminology. 

• mood (indicative, imperative, optative) 

• person (first, second, third) 

• number (singular, plural) 

• gender (masculine, feminine): but only in: (1) third person past tense forms of all 
verbs and (2) third person singular (past and present) forms of the verb to be 

These features are encoded in verb forms by means of affixes or stress placement; how¬ 
ever, not all verb constructions are marked for all properties. For example, infinitives 
are not marked for any of the above features; and participles for only some of them. 



186 


Verbs 


Person, number, and gender (which we abbreviate to PNG in this grammar) are 
features that mark agreement with noun phrases in the clause. Which noun governs 
this agreement is determined in accordance with Pashto’s system of split ergativity, 
which is discussed in more detail in Section 5.1.3.5 and Section 11.7.1. 

Pashto verbs are all built on one of four possible building blocks, called bases in 
this grammar, which vary in shape according to two parameters: tense (present/past) 
and aspect (continuous/aorist). 

• present continuous (= present imperfective or present 1/1 in some grammars) 

• present aorist (= present perfective or present II/2 in some grammars) 

• past continuous (= past imperfective or past 1/1 in some grammars) 

• past aorist (= past perfective or past II/2 in some grammars) 

These four base types are described and exemplified below in Section 8.2.6. 

Pashto verbs are a closed class. As is common in the South Asian linguistic area, 
new verbs enter the language via light verb constructions of the form Noun/Adjective 
+ Verb. As will be described below, some of these light verb constructions have become 
partly lexicalized. (see Section 8.2.4.4 and Section 11.2.3.1). 

There are also several functions or modalities encoded periphrastically, with the 
use of particles or auxiliary verbs. These include negation, a passive-like construction, 
expression of future events, and expressions of ability. 


8.1.2 Classifying verbs 

Based on its morphological and syntactic behavior, a Pashto verb can be classified in 
three ways, according to 

1. how it forms the aorist (i.e., conjugation class; see Section 8.2.5) 

2. whether it has stem allomorphy (i.e., stem class-class—weak or strong; see Sec¬ 
tion 8.2.6) 

3. whether the stem is simplex or complex (i.e., morphological structure; see Sec¬ 
tion 8.2.4) 1 


1 The standard descriptions of Pashto verbs set out by Shafeev (1964), Tegey & Robson (1996), and 
Pashtoon (2009) refer to derivative verbs. We use the broader term complex verb, because in our 
description, this group also includes verbs with separable prefixes; what they call derivative verbs 
are a subset of what we call complex verbs. 



Verb components 


187 


Previous descriptions of Pashto do not clearly distinguish among the above verb group¬ 
ings, but a thorough analysis of Pashto verbs requires that we take all three into ac¬ 
count. 2 Conjugation class and stem class membership both reflect morphological be¬ 
havior; and whether a verb is simplex or complex—and if complex, what type of com¬ 
plex verb it is—determines its syntactic behavior. We follow Tegey & Robson (1996) 
(as well as grammatical tradition) in focusing primarily on conjugation class as a way 
of classifying verbs, but also make reference to stem allomorphy and morphological 
structure where relevant. 

The following sections of the grammar describe the parts of the various Pashto 
verbal constructions and how these constructions are formed, the three ways of cate¬ 
gorizing Pashto verbs, paradigms of inflected verbs, and some aspects of verbal usage. 


8.2 Verb components 

This section describes the structure of Pashto verbs and all the building blocks for 
forming Pashto verb constructions. 


8.2.1 Structure of the verb 

Pashto verbs are largely agglutinative, 3 as can be seen in Table 8.1 and Table 8.2, which 
illustrate Pashto verb structure for weak and strong verbs respectively. The difference 
between weak and strong verbs lies in whether they exhibit stem allomorphy (Section 
8.2.6). These tables cover both inflectional and derivational morphology. Parentheses 
around column heads indicate that morphemes in that column may or may not appear 
on a given verb construction; the only component that is part of every construction is 
the stem. However, no verb form can consist of only a stem; every verb also has to have 
at least one suffix from among suffixes 1, 2, or 3. 


2 Although they are not explicit about it, Tegey & Robson (1996) classify verbs into three groups, 
according to a combination of our (1) and (3)—aorist formation (.j /wa-/ prefixation versus stress 
shift) plus one element of morphological structure (prefixed versus denominai verbs). Penzl (1955) 
and Heston (1992) arrive at their five-way classification of verbs using our (2) and (3)—allomorphy 
and morphological structure. The analysis of Grjunberg (1987:111-193) is the most detailed: his 
carefully thought-out system incorporates all three of the above criteria, as well as one we do not 
take into account (the^_ /-eg-/ and_Jt_ /-ed/ tense markers of intransitive first conjugation verbs) 
but differs from ours in a number of ways, chiefly in that he gives primacy to morphological structure 
of the stem ratherthan to conjugation class. 

3 With complications introduced by morphologically complex verbs such as denominai verbs. 



Intransitive Transitive 


188 


Verbs 


g s S' S s 

S I .if 7 " 

; 3 j§ -J b ^ 

’ ™ c 'O 


L-l—I /—\ td 

- S'Sl > 

b ^ ^ 5 

^ w >N 

c£ ro ro to 


• — to \d 
u QJ qj 

o> x —- 

"T iC XJ 

^ ‘E ra 


t_j .zl tn 
j= “O % 

cz £ 

g § i 


QJ QJ QJ 

3 3 g- 

£ *35 £ 

a) o 1/1 

QJ Q. 


•• _L £f <N 
[o'? o CO 

*H’&o 


(/I'D O 00 

< <p ~ c 


3 .1 

3 , c 

:a o ^ <u 

: 1 - 

to 

5 to 

J <u 


ro 

■z x 

i- a) ic 

o -a qj 
-a Q- 

QJ 


Table 8.1: Structure of weak (one stem) verbs 



CONTINUOUS: (See Table 8.3 for possible CAUSATIVE: P AST: PNG (see Table 8.4) 

0- _ l._ x . .™. -L -51- 


Verb components 


189 


■ 11 ,—■, . > 

■i: c in S £ g 

> O »- k z z 

§ £ -I ■« ™ " 

°T5 = 'O 


Q- tj 

p -a ^ 
c* ro eg 


Table 8.2: Structure of strong (more than one stem) verbs 



190 


Verbs 


Verb stem shapes and examples are given in Table 8.3. Note that Pashto verb stems 
cannot be vowel-final. 


Stem shape 


Examples 


Stem 

Infinitive 

C 

k 

Jjijf kedal ‘to become’ 

CC 


Jh tlal ‘to go’ 

CVC 

j tar 

J J taral ‘to tie’ 

VC 

jjl ud 

Jjjl udal‘to weave, knit’ 

VCC 

ist 

Ji-ol istal ‘to pull (out)’ 

VCVC 

ixod 

ixodal ‘to put’ 

CVCC 

yust 

J ^ ji- yustal to ‘want’ 

CCVC 

drum 

drumedal ‘to march’ 

ccvcc 

nyast 

nyastal ‘to wrap up’ 

cvcvc 

jj\j raniw 

Jjjlj raniwal‘to buy (up)’ 

cvcvcc 

JUjjj pezand 

Jjujjj pezandal ‘to know’ 

vcvcc 

'jl awuxt 

awuxtal‘to overturn, 
climb over’ 

vccvc 

OjJI alwut 

alwutal‘to fly’ 


Table 8.3: Stem shapes 


Note in Table 8.1 and Table 8.2 that the suffixes for past and infinitive are identical. 
The infinitive (Section 8.2.3) is the citation form of the verb. 


Verb components 


191 


Under some conditions, some Pashto verbs are separable into two parts: certain 
particles may occur between the prefixed components (of Column 1 in Table 8.1 and 
Table 8.2) and the rest of the verb; that is, the stem and any suffixes (see Section 11.2.3.2). 
Certain instances of this phenomenon are the reason for the claim that Pashto is one of 
the few languages that has endoclisis (Kaisse 1981; Kopris & Davis 2005; Kopris 2009; 
David 2011). The derivational prefixes mentioned in column 1 of Table 8.1 and Table 
8.2 can be seen in Table 8.8 and Table 8.9. 


8.2.2 Personal suffixes 

The suffixes in Table 8.4 are those that reflect the categories of person, number, and 
gender (PNG suffixes). PNG suffixes are not inherently stressed, but can carry stress in 
the past tense, as described below. 

PNG suffixes can be attached to the bases described in Section 8.2.6 to form finite 
verbs, with some exceptions to be described below. With the exception of the irregular 
verb to be, PNG suffixes differ between the tenses only in the third person, as the past 
tense third person suffixes encode gender and person, while present tense ones do not, 
as can be seen in Table 8.4 through Table 8.6. Note also that despite the orthographic 
similarity of the past singular suffixes for masculine and feminine forms ( <l), the real¬ 
izations differ, the masculine being /a/ and the feminine being /a/. Table 8.4 through 
Table 8.6 give the personal suffixes for verbs in General Pashto, Waziri, and Dzadrani. 

The first person singular suffix /-ama/ is heard most often in poetry, where 
meter determines which whether the monosyllabic or bisyllabic allomorph is used, but 
it is not uncommon in spoken General Pashto. 

Notes on Table 8.5 and Table 8.6: 

1. The Waziri and Dzadrani first person singular suffixes /-am/ and /-ama/ are in 
free variation. They occur in both poetic and non-poetic contexts, in contrast 
with GP dialects, where the suffix /-ama/ occurs more often in poetry. As in 
GP, meter determines which form is used in the poetic contexts, but Septfonds 
(1994: 81) speculates that even in non-poetic speech, “the melody of discourse” 
can play a role in which form is used. 

2. Lorimer (1902:18ff.) reports the Waziri second person plural suffix as /-ay/ (/-ai/ 
in his Romanization), but it does not occur in any of our field data. This discrep¬ 
ancy could be due to the vowel /a/ having changed to /a/ over the past hundred 
years or to Lorimer’s transcription methods, which predate phonological the¬ 
ory. 

3. The third person present suffix /-o/, while heard frequently in both Waziri and 
Dzadrani, only occurs on one verb, the root /k-/ of the verbalizer /kawal/ ‘to 
make; to do.’ It is frequent because /kawal/ forms part of so many third conju¬ 
gation verbs. 



192 


Verbs 




Singular 

Plural 

1st 


r 

> 



-am 

-u 







-am(a) sw 


2nd present 


LT 

ilr 



-e 

-ay 

-ast (verb bases 
ending in ^ y sw) 

2nd past 



LT 




■0y 








-ast sw 

3rd 

present 

M 

LT 

-i 



F 



3rd past 

M 



4 _ 

4 _ 



-0 

-0 



LT 

0 E 



- 0 y sw 




J- 




-0 NE 




0 E 



F 

4 _ 

<JT 



-a 

-e 


Table 8.4: GP verbs: personal suffixes 



Verb components 


193 


Singular Plural 


1st 


-a -i 

-am(a) 


2nd -e -ay 

(-ay) 

3rd 

. M -i 

present 

-o 


F 


3rd past 

M -a 

-0 


-al 


F -(al)a -(al)e 


Table 8.5: Waziri verbs: personal suffixes 




Singular 

Plural 

1st 


-am(a) 

-i 

2nd 


-e 

-ay 




-oy 

3rd 

present 

M 

-i 

-o 



F 



3rd past 

M 

-0 

-ofl) 



-a 




-ay 



F 

-(al)a 

-(al)e 


Table 8.6: Dzadrani verbs: personal suffixes 



194 


Verbs 


4. The third person past masculine suffix /-ay/ of Dzadrani only occurs on a few 
verbs: for example, certain second conjugation verbs containing the roots /tlal/ 
‘to go’ and /<p/val/ ‘to place’. 

5. As in General Pashto, the third person suffixes encode tense. 

8.2.3 The infinitive 

The infinitive in Pashto is the citation form of the verb and formally equivalent to the 
verb’s past continuous base (see Section 8.2.6), with Jl /-al-/. 4 It can be used as a noun 
and takes masculine plural agreement on the verb. 

Formation: past continuous stem + Jl /-al-/ 

The stress is always on the final syllable. Examples of infinitives from all three 
conjugation classes are in Table 8.7. 


4 Some grammars, such as Tegey & Robson (1996), use the present continuous base as the citation 
form, arguing that because of stem allomorphy, the present base is not always obvious. However, we 
use the infinitive, both because it is traditional Pashto grammatical practice, and because this is the 
form used as headword in dictionaries. 



Verb components 


195 


Conjugation 

Past continuous stem 

Infinitive 

First 

xwar- ‘eat’ 

J ijjz- xwaral ‘to eat’ 


-Jjji dar-ed- ‘stop’ 

Jjbji daredal‘to stop’ 


-Ju>- jf gardz-ed-‘walk’ 

Jjl >-/ garcfeedal‘to walk’ 


.y>-\ acaw- ‘pour, throw’ 

acawal‘to pour, to 

throw’ 

Second 

oyi nana-wat-‘enter’ 

Jjyj nanawatal ‘to enter’ 


Jjl j ra-tl- ‘come’ 

JJu'lj ratlal ‘to come’ 

Third 

Contracted Jbaljl azad-ed- ‘go free’ 

Jjuiljl azadedal‘to go free’ 


ji\j\ azad-aw-‘set free’ 

Jjjljl azadawal‘to set free’ 


Uncontracted JlS' 

xayista k-ed- 
‘become pretty’ 

xayista kedal 
‘to become pretty’ 


Table 8.7: Infinitives 


196 


Verbs 


8.2.4 Simplex and complex verbs 
8.2.4.1 Overview 

Pashto verbs may be either simplex or complex. 5 The chief difference between simplex 
and complex verbs is a morphosyntactic one: unlike simplex verbs, complex verbs are 
separable; that is, under some conditions, they resolve into two parts, with certain 
restricted classes of words intervening between them (see Section 11.2.3.2). 

Simplex verbs are all those verbs whose base consists of a single morpheme, such 
as: 

Jj&j /wahal/‘to hit’, with base aj /wah-/+ infinitive suffix J- /-al/; 
while complex verbs have a base with two morphemes (or what were once two 
morphemes). There are three kinds: 

• n-initial verbs (Section 8.2.4.2) 

I /astawal/ ‘to send’ 

(not synchronically bi-morphemic, but probably < Proto-Iranian *a-staH-; Cheung 
2007) 

• prefixed verbs (Section 8.2.4.3) 

Jjjllj /ra-wral/ ‘to bring here/to me’ 

= Jj /ra-/ ‘here, to me’ + /wral/ ‘to carry’ 

• denominal verbs (Section 8.2.4.4) 

Jjjljl /azad-awal/ ‘to set free’ 

= jljl /azad/ ‘free’ + JyT /(k)awal/‘to make; to do’ 

These three groups correspond closely—but not entirely—to the three conjugation 
classes (Section 8.2.5): prefixed verbs comprise the second conjugation, and denom¬ 
inal verbs the third. The only difference is that a-initial verbs form only a small part 
of the first conjugation; the greater part of it consists of simplex verbs. This crucial 
difference illustrates why it is important to recognize this second way of classifying 
verbs: Pashto verbs may cluster in one way based on their inflectional behavior, but 
in another way based on their morphosyntactic behavior. All three types of complex 
verb will be discussed in the following sections. 


8.2.4.2 o-initial verbs 

Most verbs that begin with /a/ fall into the class of complex verbs known as n-initial 
verbs. There are only about a dozen or so members of this class; it does not include 


5 Note that simplex is used to mean the opposite of complex; this distinction is not to be confused 
with the distinction between simple and compound verb constructions (Section 8.3 and Section 8.4). 



Verb components 


197 


denominal verbs (Section 8.2.4.4) whose complement happens to have an initial /a/, 
and there are a few other verbs that, although they have initial /a/, nevertheless do 
not fall into this special class; for example, Jjjl /anawal/ ‘to gather’. 

We consider these n-initial verbs complex because their syntactic behavior resem¬ 
bles that of prefixed verbs: the initial /a/ can separate from the rest of the verb as 
though it were a prefix, even though /a/ is not a morpheme in the usual sense of the 
word, since it is not meaningful by itself. 6 These verbs are also unusual, in that—unlike 
most other Pashto verbs—their stress is variable in the continuous aspect: it can be ei¬ 
ther initial or non-initial. Most verbs cannot have initial stress in continuous forms. 

While morphosyntactically similar to prefixed verbs, n-initial verbs differ in that 
they take the prefix.j /wo-/ for aorist forms, as can be seen in what we believe to be a 
comprehensive list of n-initial verbs, presented in Table 8.14 as part of our discussion of 
the first conjugation. This inflectional feature places them in the morphological class 
of first conjugation (Section 8.2.5.2), which otherwise comprises only simplex verbs. 

The following sentences illustrate the separability of n-initial verbs; they can sep¬ 
arate either when the initial /a/ is optionally stressed in the continuous or in the aorist 
aspect, where initial stress is obligatory. In each instance this separation occurs only 
in the presence of certain clitics or the negative morphemes (Section 11.2.3.2). 

With initial stress, separated: 7 

(8.1) . I 

0-a me xist-dl-d 

CONT-buy 1SG.WK buy.PST-PST-3PL.M 

‘I was buying them.’ 

versus non-initial stress, not separated: 

(8.2) . I 

0-axist-dl-d me 

CONT-buy.PST-PST-3PL.M 1SG.WK 

‘I was buying them.’ 

In the aorist: 

(8.3) ^ ij 

w-a me xist-dl 

AOR-buy 1SG.WK buy.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘I bought them.’ 


6 Most likely the initial /a/ was once a prefix historically, and for this reason it still behaves like one 
(David, 2011). 

7 Examples taken from Kopris (2009). 



198 


Verbs 


As mentioned earlier, this separating behavior of n-initial verbs has led some lin¬ 
guists to assert that Pashto is among a handful of languages in the world that undergo 
endoclisis. (See Kaisse 1981, Kopris & Davis 2005, Kopris 2009, and David 2011 for at¬ 
tempts to account for it, both synchronically and diachronically.) 


8.2.4.3 Prefixed verbs 

Prefixed verbs, called doubly irregular verbs by Tegey & Robson (1996:114), coincide 
with our second conjugation (Section 8.2.5.4). They take the form of a derivational pre¬ 
fix plus a verb base, although in a few instances, either the first or the second of these 
does not appear in any other context in the language. However, as with the n-initial 
verbs, because these pseudo-prefixed verbs behave like other prefixed verbs, we have 
chosen, with Tegey & Robson (1996) and Grjunberg (1987), to group them all under the 
same category. The derivational prefixes are shown in Table 8.8 and Table 8.9. 

The prefixes Jj /ra-/, .p /dar-/, and_,j /war-/of Table 8.8 correspond histori¬ 
cally and semantically to the oblique pronominal clitics and directional verbal clitics 
described in Section 7.4, hence we class them all as what we call deictoids. However, 
as elements of complex verbs, their role is not pronominal, and we therefore refer to 
them in this context as deictic prefixes. They occur with only four verb stems (see Sec¬ 
tion 7.4.3) and frequently incorporate meanings of to me/to him, here/there, etc., into 
the verb of which they are a part. 

In the Dzadrani forms, the first person deictic prefix is reduced to /r/ in the contin¬ 
uous aspect (i.e., when it is unstressed) and appears in its full form, /ro/, in the aorist 
(when it is stressed). Past aorist forms of /der-tlal/ ‘to go there/to you’ and /wer-tlal/ 
‘to go there/to him/her/it/them’ have an epenthetic a between the prefix and the stem 
in Dzadrani; for example, /dera-ylam(a)/ ‘I joined you’. 


Person GP prefix Waziri prefix Dzadrani Gloss 

prefix 


1 

Jlj ra- 

ra- 

r(o)- 

'here; to me' 

2 

-jj dar-, dar- 

dar- 

der- 

'there; to 
you' 





'there 

3 

_jj war-, war- 

war- 

wer- 

(yonder); to 
him/her/it/them 1 


Table 8.8: Deictic verb prefixes 





Verb components 


199 


Although the prefixes in Table 8.9 exist in the same position class as the deictic 
prefixes, and are subject to the same rules of stress movement to encode aorist aspect, 
as well as to separation from the rest of the verb by negative morphemes and second 
position clitics, they do not necessarily have meanings that are synchronically separa¬ 
ble from the verbal lexeme of which they are a part. The glosses given should therefore 
be thought of as the glosses of their etymons, not as synchronic glosses. 


Prefix Gloss of etymon 


kxe-E 

ksi- w 

kxi-w 

ke-E 

-S”” ki- w 

'in; on' 

nana- 

'into' 

_jjjj pori- 

'across; over; on' 

-U P r§ - 

->,j> pre- 

'off; away' 

~j3 ter- 

'past' 


Table 8.9: Non-productive verb prefixes 


Some examples of prefixed verbs can be seen in Table 8.10 in their infinitival forms 
(see Section 8.2.3), and in the sentences 8.4 and 8.5. In sentence 8.4 the prefix is sepa¬ 
rated from the verb stem by a second position clitic. 

(8.4) 

war ye kr-a 

give... 3.WK ...give.AOR-IMP.SG 


‘Give it to her/him/them.’ «w) 



200 


Verbs 


Prefix 

Verb 

Prefixed verb 

Jlj ra- ‘here’ 

Jlrtlal ‘to go’ 

Jill j ratlal ‘to come’ 

_<ui nana-‘into’ 

J ij watal ‘to leave, depart’ 

Jjyj nanawatal‘to enter’ 

kxe- ‘in; on’ 

J jj watal ‘to leave, depart’ 

kxewatal‘to fall or 
drop into; to slip or slide’ 


Table 8.10: Examples of prefixed verbs 


(8.5) . yj li aJ 


za wrus ta 

1SG.STR.DIR after 


Id ta nanawat-al-am 

from 2SG.STR.OBL AOR\enter-PST-lSG 


‘I entered after you.’ 


8.2.4.4 Denominal verb constructions 

Denominal verbs are light verb constructions 8 of the form Noun/Adjective + Verb, where 
the verb is either J-Lff /kedal/ ‘to become’ (to form intransitives) or AS /kawal/ ‘to 
make; to do’ (to form transitives). We refer to the adjective or noun as the complement 
and to the verb as the verbalizer. As a light verb, denominal verb encodes a single 
event, deriving its semantics from the complement, while the verbalizer carries cat¬ 
egories such as PNG, tense, and so on. 9 (See Section 11.2.3.1 for more on light verb 
constructions in Pashto.) 

There are two versions of this construction; the difference between them has to do 
with the degree to which the verb fuses phonologically with its noun or adjective com¬ 
plement in the continuous aspect. We can therefore speak of contracted and uncon¬ 
tracted denominal verb constructions. In the uncontracted one, the verbal construc¬ 
tion is always a two-word phrase, with the verb occurring in its full form as a separate 
word from the substantive that gives the overall construction its meaning. 


8 These forms are variously referred to in other grammars of Pashto as derivative, compound, 
complex, or denominative verbs. 

9 Most other Pashto grammars use the term auxiliary, but see Butt (2003) for a clear differentiation 
between light verbs and auxiliary verbs. 


Verb components 


201 


In a contracted denominal verb, the k is deleted in continuous forms, leaving the 
verb in a shortened form: J-L_ /-edal/ (intransitive), or Jj_ /-awal/ (transitive). In writ¬ 
ten Pashto, contracted verbal constructions are represented as single words. Generally 
speaking, this contraction only occurs when the complement is a consonant-final ad¬ 
jective. If the first element is a vowel-final adjective or if it is a noun of any sort, the ver¬ 
bal construction usually does not contract, but remains two separate words through¬ 
out the paradigm. However, there are a few contracted verb forms with nouns as the 
first element; for example: 

• Jj /rangawal/ ‘to paint’ (from the noun j /rang/ ‘paint, color’) 

• J/hisabawal/ ‘to account, calculate’ (from the noun /hisab/ ‘calcu¬ 

lation, count’) 

Note that both these nouns are consonant-final, while the majority of Pashto nouns 
are vowel-final. It therefore appears that /k/-deletion reflects a tendency against the se¬ 
quence /Ck/, since it applies to C-final adjectives and some C-final nouns, but this is a 
tendency only. 

Among denominal verbs with adjective complements, both the contracted and the 
uncontracted constructions behave like single words: 

• Continuous forms do not allow other words—such as negatives or weak pronouns— 
between the adjective and verbalizer. 

• Adjective complements are uninflected in the continuous aspect (whereas adjective 
complements in the aorist aspect, and all noun complements—in both aorist and 
continuous—may inflect for case). This is described and exemplified in Section 6.7. 

So we see a spectrum of behavior among third conjugation verbs, from word-like, 
or lexicalized, to phrase-like, as summed up in Table 8.11. The forms with a consonant- 
final adjective complement (column 2) are the most lexicalized, because the adjectival 
and verbal components of the construction together behave as one word, while those 
with a vowel-final noun complement (column 4), as well as all aorist forms (column 5), 
are the least so. 

The small number of contracted verb forms that have noun complements fall in be¬ 
tween the contracted adjectival and the uncontracted nominal third conjugation verbs 
in their morphological and syntactic behavior: 

• Unlike uncontracted denominal verbs with noun complements, they allow a sepa¬ 
rate direct object. 

• Also unlike uncontracted denominal verbs with noun complements, when negated 
they must be preceded by the negative marker; it cannot occur between the comple¬ 
ment and verb. 



202 


Verbs 


• However, like uncontracted denominal verbs with noun complements, they can take 
morphological material on the end of the complement; however, it is optional. 

The situation is complex and suggests that what we are seeing is a change in progress. 
The contracted denominal verbs contradict the claim by Butt & Lahiri (2002) and Butt 
(2003) about light verbs and grammaticalization; namely, that light verbs do not “en¬ 
ter the grammaticalization dine,” at all, but rather remain “form-identical to a main 
verb.” These Pashto forms instead provide additional evidence for the argument in 
Bowern (2008) that complex predicates “aren’t necessarily stable” but can in fact lenite 
phonologically and are subject to reanalysis. David & Goodman (2012) discusses these 
points at length. 

With all types of denominal verbs, this contracted/uncontracted distinction only 
holds in the continuous aspect: among aorist forms, all third conjugation verbs are 
fully separate from their noun or adjective complement. 

Adjective complements that inflect for case usually do so as Class I adjectives, un¬ 
less they end in /ay/; for example, the adjective complement <_s/staray/ ‘tired’ in 
Jy >' iS /stsray kawal/ ‘to tire, exhaust’, which behaves like a Class III adjective. 
In denominal verbs formed from adjectives, the adjective agrees with the undergoer 
of the action, if there is one, and with the subject if there is none, in both present and 
past tenses.Table 8.11 summarizes the morphosyntactic behavior of the different types 
of denominal verbs. 


CONTINUOUS AORIST 



C-final 

adjective 

complement 

V-final 

adjective 

complement 

Noun 

complement 


Verb in full 

form? 

N 

Y 

Y 

Y 

Intervening 

lexical 

material 

permitted? 

N 

N 

Y 

Y 

Inflected 

complement 

permitted? 

N 

N 

Y 

Y 


Table 8.11: Behavior of denominal verbs 



Verb components 


203 


Table 8.12 gives some examples of denominal verbs. The one in the first row is un¬ 
contracted; those in the second and third rows are contracted. Contracted transitive 
denominals (those in Jj_ /-awal/—column 3) formally resemble historical causatives 
(Section 8.2.7); however, there are two differences: causatives have a verb stem, rather 
than a noun or adjective, as their first element, and, unlike transitive denominals, 
causatives form aorists according to first conjugation rules, with a _j /wo-/ prefix (Sec¬ 
tion 8.2.5.1). But in the continuous aspect, transitive contracted denominals do con¬ 
jugate identically with causatives. Likewise, intransitive contracted denominal verbs 
(those in J JL. /-edal/ ‘to become’—column 2) conjugate identically with intransitive 
first conjugation verbs (Section 8.2.5.2). 


Substantive base 

Verb (intransitive) 

Verb (transitive) 

xayista ‘pretty’ 

Jjjf xayista kedal 

‘to become pretty’ 

xayista kawal 
‘to make pretty, to beautify’ 

jljl azad ‘free’ 

Jjuiljl azadedal‘to go 
free’ 

azadawal‘to set free’ 

Jjjj zobal ‘wound’ 

JoJjjj zobledal ‘to be 
injured’ 

JjLjj zoblawal ‘to injure’ 


Table 8.12: Examples of denominal verbs 


8.2.5 Conjugation classes 

8.2.5.1 Overview of conjugation classes 

Pashto verbs can be classified into three conjugation classes according to how they 
inflect for the aorist aspect. For General Pashto as well as the Middle dialects, first con¬ 
jugation verbs form the aorist through the addition of the prefix _j /wo-/, second con¬ 
jugation verbs through stress shift to the first syllable, and third conjugation verbs— 
denominal constructions all—through stress shift to the complement, plus use of the 
irregular aorist form of the verbalizer. In Dzadrani, there is a phonologically condi¬ 
tioned rule that changes /wa-/ to /o-/ when followed by a bilabial consonant, as in: 

/o-be-garcki/ ‘we will walk’ 

Most first conjugation verbs are simplex, but a few—the a-initial verbs—are com¬ 
plex, while all second and third conjugation verbs are complex (Section 8.2.4). 

Before describing these classes in detail, an explanation is called for as to why 
we use the term aorist rather than the more common perfective. Most descriptions of 



204 


Verbs 


Pashto recognize an aspectual dichotomy reflected in both the morphology and the 
semantics of Pashto verbs. The usual terms in those descriptions for the two categories 
are imperfective and perfective; however, we are not the first to have misgivings over 
the aptness of those words. Penzl (1955) and Heston (1992) both substitute the Roman 
numerals I and II respectively, and Septfonds (1994) uses the numerals 1 and 2, but 
we reject their terminology as liable to confusion and not descriptive enough. We have 
instead decided on the terms continuous and aorist. The reason for using continuous 
is probably clear enough: both imperfective and continuous suggest the verb’s action 
is unfinished or ongoing. 

As for our term for the aspect contrasting with continuous, one possible substitute 
for perfective might have been non-continuous, but our use of the term aorist follows 
the twentieth-century Pashto grammarian Khan (2002)’s usage as cited by Penzl (1951). 
Aorist, from a Greek word meaning without boundaries or indeterminate, comes, appro¬ 
priately, from the Indo-European grammatical tradition and refers to a simple event, 
without reference to internal structure; that is, without specifying whether it was com¬ 
pleted, is continuing, etc. 

We have decided the following facts justify a change in terminology: 

1. Use of the terms imperfective andperfective could lead, as it often does in other 
linguistic descriptions, to confusion with the different term perfect, which most 
descriptions of Pashto, including our own, use for another verbal category. 

2. In addition to following Khan (2002)’s terminology, aorist is also a better gloss of 
traditional Pashto grammarians’ Pashto terms for this category, jlk* /mutlaq/ 
or j/mujarad/ as they are reported in Penzl (1951). 

3. We believe aorist, with its sense of indeterminate, is a more accurate term for 
the Pashto verbal category under discussion than perfective, which connotes 
completion. 


8.2.5.2 First conjugation class in General Pashto 

Aorist formation: add stressed prefix.j /wa-/; subsequent syllables are unstressed 

General Pashto first conjugation verbs consist of all simplex verbs, plus the a- 
initial verbs (see Section 8.2.4.2). They can be recognized by their aorist forms, which 
begin with the prefix.j /wa-/, which carries an inherent stress, as shown in Table 8.13. 
In n-initial verbs, the aorist prefix _j /wa-/ coalesces with the /a/ to form a prefix Jj 
/wa-/, as in Table 8.14. Most, but not all, first conjugation verbs with initial /a/ are 
of this type. Note that denominal verbs beginning with /a/ do not belong to the first 
conjugation (see Section 8.2.4.4). 

The verbs J-LS~ /kedal/ ‘to become’ and J/kawal/‘to make; to do’have two 
sets of aorist forms. As independent verbs, they belong to the first conjugation, because 
they form the aorist with the prefix _j /wa-/, as can be seen in their General Pashto 



Verb components 


205 


Verb 

(Present) stem 

Aorist base 

legal ‘to send’ 

leg- 

j waleg- 

pecal ‘to wind, to twist’ 

pec- 

wapec- 

Jju,Uf gadedaTto dance’ 

gad- 

wagadeg- 

JL balal ‘to consider’ 

Jjj bol- 

Jjjj wabol- 

xodaTto show’ 

xay- 

j waxay- 

katal ‘to see’ 

-jj? gor- 

-jjfj wagor- 

JjjT kedal ‘to become’ 

s- 

was- 

Jkawal ‘to make; to do’ 

-Glci' k( r )- 

-(j)'-Sj wak(r)- 


Table 8.13: GP first conjugation verbs: present tense stems and aorist bases 


forms in the last two rows of Table 8.13 and, for example, in the sentence b JuL aj 
^/j /za bayad da W9k(r)9m/ ‘I must do this’. However, when acting as verbalizers in 
denominal verbs (see Section 8.2.8), they form the aorist irregularly, as discussed in 
Section 8.2.8.2 and Section 8.2.8.3. 



206 


Verbs 


Verb 

Present 

continuous base 

Past aorist base 

J y^\ acawal ‘to pour, to throw’ 

.yA acaw- 

.yAj wacaw- 

axistal ‘to buy, take, seize’ 

_L>-i axl- 

-cc—waxist- 

Jjjl aratal‘to breakwind’ 

Jjl arat- 

Jj\j warat- 

Jjujjl arwedal‘to hear’ 

-Gf)jjl awr(eg)- 

-Jujjlj warwed- 

Jj .1 arawal ‘to move, turn over’ 

-jljl araw- 

-jUj waraw- 

J_*jl azmeyal ‘to test’ 

azmey- 

_f*jlij wazmey- 

astawal‘to send’ 

astaw- 

j wastaw- 

axxal ‘to knead’ 

-y-\ axg- 

j waxx- 

ayustal‘to put on (clothing)’ 

aywand- 

Ij wayust- 

alwutal‘to fly’ 

alwaz- 

walwut- 

alwuzawal ‘to make fly, blow up’ 

-jjjil alwuz-aw- 

walwuzaw- 

alwoyal ‘to burn’ 

alwoy- 

walwoy- 

J y\ anawal ‘to compel (someone), to pacify’ 

_jl)l anaw- 

.jlilj wanaw- 

Jxjijl awuxtal ‘to overturn, climb over’ 

.A awr- 

wawuxt- 


Table 8.14: GP o-initial verbs (first conjugation): aorist bases 



Verb components 


207 


8.2.5.3 First conjugation class in Middle dialects 

The morphology of the first conjugation verbs in the Middle dialects is similar to that 
of first conjugation verbs in the General Pashto dialects, with a few exceptions. These 
are noted below. 

The Waziri and Dzadrani counterparts of the so-called n-initial verbs differ from 
those of General Pashto. While it is clear that both dialects do have verbs that corre¬ 
spond to the n-initial verbs of the General Pashto dialects, our data are sparse, so we 
cannot offer a full description, nor can we supply a full list of corresponding forms. 
What we are able to say is that the initial syllables in the forms we do have differ from 
General Pashto forms. We find four initial syllables among these verbs: /a/, /a/, /o/, 
and /wo/. The latter comes from Lorimer and with two exceptions ( /woxestal/ ‘to 
take; to buy’ and /woyestal/ ‘to put on (clothing)’), appears to be due to his misinter¬ 
preting some aorist forms as continuous, thus leading to the aorist prefix /wa-/ being 
taken as part of the verb stem. The two verbs whose citation forms begin with /wo/ are 
perhaps examples of metaphony (/a/ ~ /o/) plus typical Waziri insertion of a /w/ glide 
before an initial /o/. 

The forms for which we have data are in Table 8.15 and Table 8.16. In one instance 
—Waziri ‘to hear’—we provide forms from the Miran Shah dialect (MIR) of northern 
Waziri and the Wana dialect (WAA) of southern Waziri, as reported by Hallberg. Other 
than those, the Waziri forms are from Lorimer (1902) and/or our native speaker, and 
the Dzadrani forms are from Septfonds (1994). A dash in the cell indicates that we do 
not have an attested form. 



208 


Verbs 


Verb 

Present continuous base 

Past aorist base 

acawal ‘to throw’ 

acaw- 

wocaw- 

woxestal ‘to take; to buy’ 

wax(a)l- 

woxest- 

arwedal ‘to hear’ 

arwed- 

worwed- 



owred- mir 



warwed- waa 

arawal ‘to overturn 

wovr- 

wurew- 

(intrans)’ 

owar- 

wo raw- 



wiwesst- 

arawal ‘to overturn (trans)’ 

a raw- 

wu-araw- 


wo raw- 

wo raw- 

woyestal ‘to put on 
(clothing)’ 

woyund- 

woyest- 

Table 8.15: Waziri verbs: forms correspondingto GP a-initial verbs 


Verb 

Present continuous base 

Past aorist base 

cawal ‘to throw’ 

— 

o-cow- 



W0-COW- 



wa-caw- 

(o)xostal ‘to take, catch’ 

(o)x(wa)l- 

oxwast- 

(o)r(w)edai ‘to hear’ 

(o)r(w)- 

orwed- 

(a)rawal ‘to reverse, 

a raw- 

wu-araw- 

overturn (trans)’ 


wo raw- 

(o)ywastal ‘to dress’ 

(o)ywand- 

(o)ywest- 

(o)waxtal ‘to cross, go to’ 

(o)war- 

owaxt- 


Table 8.16: Dzadrani verbs: forms corresponding to GP a-initial verbs 




Verb components 


209 


8.2.5.4 Second conjugation 
Aorist formation: shift stress to prefix 

Second conjugation verbs in Pashto are complex verbs (Section 8.2.4); they are 
all of the form prefix + stem, although not all of those so-called prefixes have a rec¬ 
ognizable meaning. We call them all prefixes because they all behave the same way 
morphosyntactically: they undergo stress shift to form the aorist, and they can be sep¬ 
arated from the stem by a second-position clitic or the negative morpheme (Section 
11.2.3.2.2). 10 

Although the forms may differ, second conjugation verbs in the Middle dialects 
behave similarly to those of the GP dialects. 

Pashto second conjugation verbs form the aorist by shifting the stress to their pre¬ 
fix, as in Table 8.17. If the prefix has more than one syllable, the stress goes on the first 
syllable. 


Verb 


Stem 


Present aorist base 


pore-wahal ‘to push’ 


pore-wah 

-*j i£jy. 

pore-wah- 


pre-mindzal ‘to 
wash’ 

jJ 

pre-mindz 


pre- 

mindz- 


dar-kawal ‘to give to 
you’ 


dar-kr 


dar-kr- 


Table 8.17: Second conjugation verbs: aorist bases (present tense) 


There are two kinds of prefixed verbs: those formed with one of the three deictic 
prefixes (see Section 7.4) Ij /ra/ ‘here; to me’, /dar/ ‘there; to you’, and jj /war/ 
‘there; to him/her/them’, and those with other types of prefixes. They are sometimes 
written as one word and sometimes as two. 


10 We differ from both Penzl (1955) and Heston (1992) in not grouping J jyf /kedal/ ‘to become’ 
and J/kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ with the prefixed verbs under one conjugation class. Our reason is 
that they do not fit our criteria: when they occur as independent verbs (see Section 8.2.5.2), their 
aorist formation puts them with first conjugation verbs; when they occur as verbalizers (see Section 
8.2.8), they do not fit into any conjugation class because they form the aorist irregularly. 





210 


Verbs 


8.2.5.5 Third conjugation 

8.2.5.5.1 Forming the aorist in third conjugation verbs 

Aorist formation: shift stress from verb to complement and use irregular aorist 
forms of Jjf /kawal/ or J-LST /kedal/ 

(All forms are uncontracted in the aorist aspect.) 

Third conjugation verbs are the most common and the most complicated of Pashto 
verb types. They consist of the majority of denominal verbs (Section 8.2.4.4)—all of 
those with adjective complements and most of those with noun complements. Among 
the denominal verbs whose complement is a noun, however, there are some that are 
less lexicalized and form the aorist with _j /wa-/; they therefore belong to the first 
conjugation. 

Third conjugation verbs form the aorist by: 

• shifting stress from the second element (the verbalizer) to the first element (the noun 
or adjective complement), according to the lexical stress of that complement 

• using the irregular aorist forms of the verbalizer (rather than the forms with.j /wa-/) 

Although many third conjugation verbs are contracted in the continuous aspect, in 
aorist constructions, the complement is always separate from the verbalizer. (See Sec¬ 
tion 8.2.8.2 and Section 8.2.8.3 for these aorist forms.) The forms in Table 8.18 illustrate 
some separated aorist forms of contracted denominal verbs. 



Verb components 


211 


Noun or 
adjective 

Intransitive 

verb 

Transitive verb 

Present aorist 
(intrans.) 

Present aorist 
(trans.) 

^y>- jor ‘whole’ 

jor-edal ‘to be 
made/built’ 

jor-awal ‘to 
build’ 

-i if- jo.rs- 

-/ JOf 

k(f)- 

*UjJy palwand 
‘fat’ 

J -C V-> 

palwand.-edal 
‘to become fat’ 

palwand-awal 
‘to fatten’ 

palwand s- 

-/ 'Vjk 

palwand k(r)- 

tawd 

‘warm’ 

J-C 3y 
tawd-edal ‘to 

become warm’ 

cW 

tawd-awal ‘to 

make warm’ 

zy tawd s- 

.$ iy tawd 
k(r)- 

ihsas 

‘feeling, 

sensation’ 

J 1 

ihsas-edal ‘to 

be felt, be 
experienced’ 

J 

ihsas-awal ‘to 

feel, to sense’ 

ihsas s- 

-f 

ihsas k(r)- 

fif* yufap 
‘mouthful, 

drink’ 

yurap-edal ‘to 
be swallowed, 
gulped down’ 

yurap-awal ‘to 
swallow, to 
drink in gulps’ 

yurap s- 

-/ Vik 
yurap k(r)- 

J-j payl 
‘beginning’ 

payl-edal ‘to 
be begun’ 

payl-awal ‘to 
begin’ 

-i Jd pay! s- 

-/ ck p®y l 

k(r)- 


Table 8.18: Contracted third conjugation verbs: aorist stems (present tense) 





212 


Verbs 


8.2.S.5.2 A special case of third conjugation verbs: infinitive/past participle + J-LS' 
/kedal/ 

Sometimes the complement of a third conjugation verb with J-Lif /kedal/ is an in¬ 
finitive or a past participle. This construction is often referred to by other grammars 
of Pashto as the Pashto passive, because it is best translated with an English passive 
construction: 

• Jj&j /wahal/ ‘to beat, strike’ 

J Jjf Jjs j /wahal kedal/ ‘to be beaten’ 

Jj /wahalay kedal/ ‘to be beaten’ 

• J5nJ /likal/ ‘to write’ 

JjlT JixJ /likal kedal/ ‘to be written’ 

/likalay kedal/ ‘to be written’ 

• JjJ /lidal/ ‘to see’ 

JjlT JjJ /lidal kedal/ ‘to be seen’ 

JJjT JjJ /lidalay kedal/ ‘to be seen’ 

However, because these constructions parallel the structure of other third conjugation 
verbs and because there are many other Pashto intransitive verbs—both simplex and 
complex—that can be translated by the English passive, 11 we see no reason to place 
infinitive + JJjf /kedal/ constructions in a special category. For these reasons, we 
classify them as denominal verbs. See Section 8.5.5.2 for discussion and examples. 
For example sentences using this construction, see Section 11.3.1.5. 


8.2.6 Stem classes and the four bases 

Pashto verbs fall into two stem classes depending on how many stem allomorphs they 
have. Some descriptions have referred to all Pashto verbs with stem allomorphy as ir¬ 
regular; however, we feel this term is inaccurate, as many of them share somewhat 
regular patterns in their formation, and furthermore, their number is too large to con¬ 
sider them out of the ordinary, as irregular also implies. Drawing on Indo-European 
grammatical tradition, we call verbs with no stem allomorphy weak verbs, and those 
with stem allomorphy of any degree, strong verbs. As can be seen in Table 8.19, strong 
Pashto verbs can have as many as four stems. 


11 For example: the simplex verbs Jjujj /pazedal/‘to be wounded’, and Jjl1p /yuledal/ ‘to be 
deceived’; and the complex (denominal) verbs J Jujljl /azadedal/ ‘to be freed’ and 
/joredal/ ‘to be made/built’. 



Verb components 


213 


Stem Verb 

Present 

Present 

Past 

Past 

class 

aorist 

con¬ 

con¬ 

aorist 


stem 

tinu¬ 

tinu¬ 

stem 



ous 

ous 




stem 

stem 


Strong . 

Uj^ 

jy 


yt- 

O y> 


bdz- 


biw- 

bot- 

biwal 


byay- 



‘to 





lead 





away’ 






yy 

wral yos- 

‘to 

carry’ 


V 

wr- 


vy 


yowr- 


xatal 

‘to 

rise’ 


xez- 


xat- 


Weak . 

tarsi 

‘to 

tie’ 


tar- 


yj 

ras- 

rasedal 
‘to ar¬ 
rive’ 




acawal 

‘to 

throw’ 


yr ] 

acaw- 


Table 8.19: Verbs and their stems: strong and weak 



214 


Verbs 


These stems are the basis for the four morphological building blocks upon which 
all Pashto verbs are formed. (See Section 8.1.1 and Section 8.2.6.1.) Most Pashto gram¬ 
mars extend the term stem to include these building blocks, but since, strictly speak¬ 
ing, the stem of a verb includes only derivational material, while the building blocks 
also contain inflectional material—for tense and aspect—we prefer to avoid this looser 
terminology and instead refer to the latter as bases. We confine our use of stem to forms 
that include only (1) a plain verbal form or one with derivational affixes, as for example 
prefixed verbs (Section 8.2.4.3); or (2) a nominal complement-verb construction, in the 
case of contracted denominal verbs (Section 8.2.4.4). We do so in order to distinguish in 
our descriptions the more elemental stems from the partially inflected building blocks. 

Two comments are pertinent here. First, one could probably speak theoretically 
of Pashto verb roots in addition to stems and bases—and certainly so in a historical- 
comparative discussion—but the concept is not necessary to a synchronic description. 
Second, the term base is frequently used as a synonym for roof; we therefore acknowl¬ 
edge we are co-opting it for this new sense; however, there is no loss to the accurate 
description of Pashto in doing so. 


8.2.6.1 The four verb bases 

Pashto verb bases are formed according to the two parameters of tense (present/past) 
and aspect (continuous/aorist). In Pashto, the past tense of weak verbs is indicated 
by either the suffix _L /-al-/ (for transitive verbs) 12 or _JL_ /-ed(-al-)/ (for intransitives), 
and the present tense either by the absence of this suffix (transitives), or by the suffix 

I-eg-1 (intransitives), while the past tense of strong verbs is indicated by stem al- 
lomorphy. The aorist aspect is indicated by the stressed prefix _j /wa-/ or (in the case 
of complex verbs) by stress on the prefix or complement, and the continuous aspect 
by the absence of _j /wa-/ or stress on the verb itself rather than the prefix or comple¬ 
ment. The result of these two binary choices, present/past and continuous/aorist, is 
the following four-way contrast of bases: 

1. present continuous 

2. present aorist 

3. past continuous 

4. past aorist 

To these bases can be added either: 

• a PNG suffix 


12 Although see Section 8.3.3 for a more complete discussion of how past tense is encoded in the 
morphology. 



Verb components 


215 


• an imperative or optative suffix, or 

• an adjectival suffix (to form a participle) 

The result is a fully inflected Pashto verb. See Table 8.1 and Table 8.2 for a schema- 
tization of verb formation. Both present and imperative forms are formed on present 
bases; past, optative, and infinitive forms are formed on past bases. Three of the four 
bases are also used as the base of participles (see Section 8.2.9). The way the four bases 
are formed from the stems of the verb is described in the following sections. In a few 
cases of strong verbs with four stem allomorphs, the stems and bases may coincide. 

The Jl /-al-/ suffix of the past base is sometimes optional or even disallowed: it 
is required only in weak transitive verbs (see Section 8.2.6.2), whose past continuous 
base would otherwise be identical to the present continuous base. For all other verbs, 
whose past and present stems differ, the Jl /-al-/ suffix is optional in first and second 
person forms and is prohibited in third masculine singular forms. Conversely, in third 
plural masculine forms, Jl /-al-/ is usually present, and the PNG suffix is encoded 
therein. Because they share an identical suffix, the past continuous base of any Pashto 
verb is formally identical to its infinitive. 


8.2.6.2 Weak verbs (one stem) 

Weak verbs have a single stem from which all four bases are predictable. Among weak 
verbs, intransitives and transitives have different, though predictable, shape: the bases 
of intransitive verbs have an extra affix after the stem, one for present and one for past 
tense. Examples are given in Table 8.20 through Table 8.22. 

Formation of bases for weak verbs, first conjugation: 

Transitive (see Table 8.20): 

• present continuous base = stem 

• present aorist base: _j /wa-/ + stem 

• past continuous base: stem + J_ /-al-/(suffix obligatory) 

• past aorist base: _j /wa-/+ stem+J_/-al-/(suffix obligatory) 

Intransitive (see Table 8.21): 

• present continuous base: stem + /-eg/ 

• present aorist base: _j /wa-/ + stem + /-eg/ 

• past continuous base: stem + /-ed/ (+Jl /-al-/—prohibited in 3SGM; optional 

elsewhere) 



216 


Verbs 


J i j taral ‘to tie’ 

Stem 

Continuous base 

Aorist base 

Present 

j 

j 

jj 


tar 

ta.r- 

wa-ta r- 

Past 






tar-al- 

wa-ta r-al- 


Table 8.20: Weak verb bases: first conjugation (transitive) 


Jjo-w-j rasedal'to Stem 

Continuous base 

Aorist base 

arrive* 



Present ^j 

sr*J 


ras 

ras-eg- 

wa-ras-eg- 

Past 


(J 


ras-ed(-al)- 

wa-ras-ed(-al)- 


Table 8.21: Weak verb bases: first conjugation (intransitive) 





Verb components 


217 


• past aorist base: _j /wa-/ + stem + Jl_ /-ed/( + Jl /-al-/— prohibited in 3SGM; 
optional elsewhere) 

Formation of bases for weak verbs, second conjugation (see Table 8.22): 

• present continuous base = stem 

• present aorist base: stressed prefix + stem 

• past continuous base: prefix + stem + Jl /-al-/(suffix obligatory) 

• past aorist base: stressed prefix + stem + Jl /-al-/(suffix obligatory) 

In the second conjugation, aorists are formed by a shift of stress to the existing 
prefix, rather than the addition of the.j /wa-/ prefix. Note that J y /wr-al/ ‘to carry’ 
is weak when it is the stem of a prefixed verb and strong when it occurs alone. See 
Table 8.27. 


J jj\j rawral ‘to 
bring (to me)’ 

Stem 

Continuous base 

Aorist base 

Present 


-d'j 

-1)1) 


ra-wr 

ra-wr 

ra-wr 

Past 






ra-wr-al 

ra-wr-al 


Table 8.22: Weak verb bases: second conjugation 


8.2.6.3 Strong verbs (more than one stem) 

It is not feasible at this time to provide an exhaustive list of the Pashto strong verbs. 
Forms vary tremendously across dialects; furthermore, what is strong in one area may 
be weak in another; for example, the verb /xatal/ ‘to rise’, which has a strong 
aorist masculine singular base in most dialects (o y -j /waxot-/), has c-lL-j /waxat-/ 
for a base in NE Pashto. 





218 


Verbs 


8.2.6.3.1 Strong verbs with two stems 13 

These verbs have two different stems; present bases are predictable from one stem, and 
past bases from the other. The two stems have no predictable similarity to each other, 
although many can be grouped loosely together according to shared initial sound or 
sounds (see Table 8.37); others are simply suppletive (see Table 8.24). Examples are 
given in Table 8.23 through Table 8.25. 

Formation of bases for strong verbs, first conjugation (two stems) (see Table 
8.23): 

• present continuous base = present stem 

• present aorist base: _j /wa-/ + present stem 

• past continuous base: past stem (+ _L /-al-/— prohibited in 3SGM; optional else¬ 
where) 

• past aorist base: _j /wa-/ + past stem (+Jl /-al-/— prohibited in 3SGM; optional 
elsewhere) 


Jjul xatal ‘to rise’ 

Stem 

Continuous base 

Aorist base 

Present 


-J& 



xez 

xez- 

we-xez- 

Past 

C~>y>- 

.(J)oy- 

-(J)oy-j 


xot 

xot(-al)- 

wa-xot(-al)- 


Table 8.23: Strong verb bases: first conjugation (two stems) 


Formation of bases for strong verbs, second conjugation (two stems) (see Ta¬ 
ble 8.25): 

• present continuous base = present stem 

• present aorist base: stressed prefix + present stem 

• past continuous base: prefix + past stem (+ Jl /-al-/— prohibited in 3SGM; op¬ 
tional elsewhere) 


13 Equivalent to Penzl’s Class II (excludingthe intransitives with -eg- and -ed-) and Class III and to 
Heston’s second conjugation/irregular verbs. 



Verb components 


219 


JjlJ lidal'tosee’ 

Stem 

Continuous base 

Aorist base 

Present 

JO 




win 

win- 

w6-win- 

Past 

jj 




lid 

lid(-al)- 

wa-lid(-al)- 


Table 8.24: Strong suppletive verb, first conjugation (two stems) 


• past aorist base: stressed prefix + past stem (+ Jl / -al-/ — prohibited in 3SGM; 
optional elsewhere) 


Jjjjjj pre-wat-al‘to 
fall’ 

Stem 

Continuous base 

Aorist base 

Present 


-JJiJ 

-JJiJ 


pre-w6z- 

pre-w§z- 

pre-waz- 

Past 



-(J 


wat 

pre-wat(-al)- 

pre-wat-(-al)- 


Table 8.25: Strong verb bases: second conjugation (two stems) 


8.2.6.3.2 Strong verbs with three or four stems 14 

In verbs with three or four stems, the four bases are not predictable from each other. 
There are six simplex multi-stem verbs; note that three of them form the base for deictic 
prefixed verbs. The last table therefore gives the a paradigm of the combining forms for 
JJj /tlal/ ‘to go’ when it forms the base of a prefixed verb with the deictic prefixes. The 
prefixed verbs based on /kawal/ ‘to do’ use its irregular forms (listed elsewhere 


14 Equivalent to Penzl’s Class IV and Heston’s fourth conjugation/double verbs. 



220 


Verbs 


in Section 8.2.8.3), and those based on the otherwise multi-stem verb J ^ /wral/ ‘to 
carry’, use its weak stem (as illustrated by Table 8.22). 

Formation of bases for strong verbs (three or four stems) (see Table 8.26 through 
Table 8.32): 

• Present continuous base = (present) continuous stem 

• Present aorist base: _j /wa-/ + present aorist stem 

• Past continuous base: (past continuous) stem + ( Jl /-al-/—prohibited in 3SGM; 
optional elsewhere) 

• Past aorist base: _j /wa-/ + past aorist stem + ( Jl /-al-/—prohibited in 3SGM; 
optional elsewhere) 

The bases and stems for the six simplex members and one complex member of 
this class of multi-stem strong verbs are listed in Table 8.26 through Table 8.32. The 
first four verbs in these tables are transitive; the remaining three are intransitive. Note 
that two of these seven verbs, J S /kawal/ ‘to do’ and J jS /kedal/ ‘to become’, are 
also used as verbalizers (Section 8.2.4.4), and when they are, their aorist forms are 
not formed with the first conjugation prefix _j /wa-/, but are irregular. The paradigms 
for these verbs in their verbalizer role are in Section 8.2.8. The parenthetical ^ /r/ in 
the present aorist base of /kawal/ ‘to do’ indicates that it is frequently elided in 
speech. 


J £ kawal ‘to do’ 

Continuous 


Stem Base 

Present £> -£ 

kaw kaw-' 

Past J \£ 

kaw-al 


Table 8.26: Strong verb bases: J £> /kawal/ ‘to do’ 


Aorist 


Stem Base 


/ /J 

k(r) wa-k(r)- 


/ J/j 

kr wa-kr-al- 


The verb bases of /kawal/ ‘to do’ and /kedal/ ‘to become’ in the Middle dialects 
are in Table 8.33 through Table 8.36. Notice that in both Waziri and Dzadrani, the stem 
of the past tense reduces when taking /-a/ as a suffix: /kr-/ -> /k-/ and /sw-/ -> /s-/. 



Verb components 


221 


Jjj wral ‘to carry’ 

Continuous 


Aorist 


Stem 

Base 

Stem 

Base 

Present 

wr 

-v 

wr- 

yos 

yos- 

Past 


-tu 

wr-al- 

V* 

yowr 

-W 

yowr-al- 

Table 8.27: Strong verb bases: /wral/ ‘to carry’ 



biwal'to lead 
away’ 

Continuous 


Aorist 


Stem 

Base 

Stem 

Base 

Present 

byay 

.jLj 

byay- 

jy 

boz 

-jy 

boz- 

Past 

Jti 

biw 

J 

biw-al- 

bot(l) 

bot(l)-al- 

Table 8.28: Strong verb bases: J/biwal/ ‘to lead away’ 



ixodal ‘to 

put’ 

Continuous 


Aorist 


Stem 

Base 

Stem 

Base 

Present 

(i)gd 

(i)gd' 

kxegd 

kxegd- 

Past 

/ 

ixod/kxexod 

/ 

ixod- 

al/kxexod-al 

kxexod 

kxexod-a l- 


Table 8.29: Strong verb bases: /ixodal/ ‘to put’ 



222 


Verbs 


JjuS” kedal'to 
become’ 


Continuous 


Aorist 


Stem 

Base 

Stem 

Base 

Present 

keg 

keg- 

J* 

s 

A? 

W9-S- 

Past 

jlT 

ked 

JjlT 

ked-al- 

sw 

-b^O) 

wa-sw-al- 

Table 8.30: Strong verb bases: J Jjf /kedal/ ‘to become’ 



JL" tlal ‘to go’ 


Continuous 


Aorist 


Stem 

Base 

Stem 

Base 

Present 

t 

dz 

dz- 

P(S) 

(w)lar 

^0) 

(w)lar s- 

Past 

(J)^ 

ti 

J(J)o 

tl-(al-) 

P(j) 

(w)lar 

-i^O) 

(w)lar-al- 

Table 8.31: Strong verb bases: JA; /tlal/ ‘to go’ 



JAjIj ratlal'to come’ 


Continuous 


Aorist 


Stem 

Base 

Stem 

Base 

Present 

rack 

-b 

rack-' 

t/b 

ras 

-b 

ras- 

Past 

J^b 

rati 

ratl-(al-) 

& 

ray 

(J)bb 

ray-(il-) 


Table 8.32: Strong verb bases: JJjllj /ratlal/ ‘to come’ 







Verb components 


223 


kawal ‘to do’ 


Present 


Continuous Aorist 


Root Base Root Base 


kaw- kaw- k- wa-k- 

k- k- 


Past kaw- kaw-al- kr- wa-kr(-al)- 

l<r- kr(-al)- 


Table 8.33: Waziri strong verb bases: /kawal/ ‘to do’ 


Continuous Aorist 

kawal ‘to do’ _ _ 


Root Base Root Base 


Present 

k- 

k- 

k- 

wa-k- 

Past 

kr- 

kr(-al)- 

kr 

wa-kr(-al)- 

Table 8.34: Dzadrani strongverb bases: 

/kawal/ ‘to do’ 



kedai ‘to become’ 

Continuous 


Aorist 

Root 

Base 

Root 

Base 

Present 

kef¬ 

kef¬ 

s- 

W9-S- 


s’ 

s’ 



Past 

ked- 

ked(-al)- 

sw- 

wa-sw(-al)- 


sw- 

sw(-al)- 




Table 8.35: Waziri strong verb bases: /kedai/ ‘to become’ 



224 


Verbs 


kedal ‘to become’ 


Continuous 


Aorist 


Root Base Root Base 


Present 

s- 

s- 

s- 

W9-S- 

Past 

sw- 

sw(-al)- 

sw- 

wa-sw(-al)- 


Table 8.36: Dzadrani strongverb bases: /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


8.2.6.3.3 List of strong verbs 

Table 8.37 shows some strong Pashto verbs, grouped according to similarity of mor¬ 
phological patterns. 15 


Table 8.37: Strong verbs 


Infinitive 

3rd sg. pres. 

3rd sg. masc. past aorist 

Jj^ll alwotal ‘to fly [away]’ 

(£jj) 1 alwozi 

OjJIj walwot 

Jjjjjj prewatal‘to fall’ 

<Jjj& prewuzi 

prewot 

J jj iSjji poriwatal ‘to cross’ 

(J jj lSjjj poriwuzi 

Ojj iSjji poriwot 

JjjAi nanawatal‘to enter’ 

(Jjyj nanawuzi 

cjyj nanawot 

J Jj watal ‘to go out’ 

(jjj wuzi 

Ojj wawot 

Jjujjj pezandal ‘to know’ 

Jhi pezani 

Jiiljjj j wapezand 

JjjwS" kindai, JjS" kinal‘to dig’ 

kfni 

oJufTj wakinda 

Ji-ol istal ‘to pull [out]’ 

^ \j basi 

cc— jIj waist, wuyust 

preistal ‘to throw, pack’ 

^Ljjj prebasi 

jI preist 

Jiw-jl <ui nanaistal‘to introduce’ 

^\j <ui nanabasi 

<cj nanaist, 


nanayust 


15 Adapted from Shafeev (1964). 






Verb components 


225 


Table 8.37: (continued) 

Infinitive 3rd sg. pres. 3rd sg. masc. past aorist 


Js-ijl awustal‘to turn over’ 

ij :jjl awori 

c_ 4 >jl_j wawust 

yustal ‘to want’ 

cSjl y- ywari 

wayust 

Jyastal ‘to twist’ 

cS/ yap 

wayast 

nyastal‘to wrap up’ 

cSjUj nyari 

wanyast 

Jjujjl arwedal ‘to hear’ 

iSjj 1 arwi 

oJujjj warweda 

JjlJujI isedal ‘to boil’ 

^Sol fsi 

a-LJujIj waiseda 

bresedal‘to shine, 

appear’ 

j bresi 

aJt^jwabreseda 

drumedal‘to march’ 

drumi 

wadrumeda 

zezedal ‘to be born’ 

zfzi 

aJu^jj wazezeda 

axsal‘to mix up’ 

axzi 

4^-lj waaxsa 

musarto rub’ 

<_£y» mUZf 

wamusa 

Jjjl j raniwal‘to buy [up]’ 

L5 ^wj|j ranisi 

jjl j raniw 

Jjj niwal‘to take, seize’ 

j nfsi 

jJj waniw 


axistal ‘to take, get’ 

axli 

~j-U waxist 

rawustal‘to bring’ 

rawali 

e —j rawust 

Iwastal‘to read’ 

Iwali 

walwast 

ctyastal‘to run’ 

cfeyali 

c—U^-j wacfeyast 

raksal ‘to extract’ 

tjj IS")j rakazi 

rawukis 

ksal'to pull’ 

kazi 

wakis 

ayustal‘to dress’ 

ayundi 

lj wagust 

Jjjl udal ‘to weave, knit’ 

^j\ uwi, uyi 

ojjlj wauda 

isodal‘to laydown’ 

fzdi 

ksesod 

JL balal ‘to call, count’ 

boli 

aJb j wabala 



226 


Verbs 


Table 8.37: (continued) 


Infinitive 

3rd sg. pres. 

3rd sg. masc. past aorist 

Jbiwal ‘to lead, steal’ 

biaf 

o jj bot 

Jijljj pranital ‘to open’ 

pranicki 

pranit 

presodal‘to leave, allow’ 

prezdi 

ij^ presod 

perodal ‘to buy’ 

lSjZ P'ti 

waperod 

JJb" tlal ‘to go’ 

J- 

j wlar 

JjjU- caudal‘to split’ 

tjy? cawf 

ijU-j wacaud 

cawal‘to blow up’ 

iSy>r cawf 

ojU-j wacawa 

J5bS- tskal ‘to smoke’ 

tski 

ajlSbf-j watskawa 

JibS- tsakal ‘to drink, taste’ 

tsakf 

aSs>-j watsaka 

Js>- xatal ‘to ascend’ 

iSjf- xezi 

waxot 

Jijl j ratlal ‘to arrive’ 

l ji-\j racki 

rayay 

Jjjj rudal ‘to suck [out]’ 

ij rawi 

njjj waruda 

skastal ‘to cut [off]’ 

skanf 

waskast 

Jj— swal, swacfeal ‘to burn 

[down]’ 

swacfef 

wasu 

sowal ‘to show’ 

^ sayi 

wasow 

katal ‘to look’ 

gori 

OjfTj wakot 

Jkseksal ‘to rub’ 

ksekazi 

kseksod 

ksenastal ‘to sit [down]’ 

kseni 

ksenost 

Jkawal'to do’ 

ij kawf 

wakar 

kedal ‘to become’ 

iS-jf kezi 

wasu 

J J laral ‘to have’ 

iS) lari 

darlod 

JjlJ tidal ‘to see’ 

wfni 

JlJ j walid 

mindal ‘to find’ 

^y mumi 

waminda 

nstal ‘to stick to’ 

nsali 

j wansat 




Verb components 


227 


Table 8.37: (continued) 


Infinitive 

3rd sg. pres. 

3rd sg. masc. past aorist 

Jjj wral ‘to take [away]’ 

cSjj wri 

jjjj yuwur 

Jjj wazal ‘to kill, execute’ 

^jj wazni 

ij \jj wawaza 

Jidoj wistaTto shoot’ 

wali 

cc-ij jj wawist 

Jjj wayal ‘to speak’ 

(jJj wai 

jj wawaya 


8.2.7 The causative morpheme 

As shown in Table 8.1 and Table 8.2, causative verbs consist of verb stem plus an affix 
_j_ /-aw-/. The result is a verb with the meaning to make (someone/something) do X, 
where do X is the original verb. In the case of verbs with more than one stem, some 
causative forms use the present and some the past stem, depending on the verb. Our 
data do not suggest a rule for which stem is used, and in some cases, both forms exist, 
as can be seen in the fourth example in Table 8.38. Causative verbs belong to the first 
conjugation (see Section 8.2.5.2). 

The causative suffix is no longer productive. In modern Pashto, a caused event can 
be expressed periphrastically rather than derivationally, with a phrase that consists of 
a verb meaning ‘to force; to compel’ plus either an infinitive or present aorist form of 
the verb that represents the event being caused. (See Section 11.5.) Since the outcomes 
of causative affixation are lexicalized, we do not gloss it in our interlinear examples. 



228 


Verbs 


Present stem 

Past stem 

Causative 

JjJ lwal-‘read’ 

Iwast-‘read’ 

lwal-aw-al‘toteach’ 

[lit. to cause to read] 

alwuz- ‘fly’ 

Jjll alwut-‘fly’ 

Jjjjll alwuz-aw-al‘to make 
fly, to explode’ 

xez- ‘climb’ 

_^j- xat-‘climb’ 

J jj*?- xez-aw-al ‘to make 
climb’ 

-JU ji-\ ayund- ‘dress’ 

j£\ ayust-‘dress’ 

ayund-aw-al‘to 
make dress’ 



ayust-aw-al‘to 
make dress’ 

_JuU- xand- ‘laugh’ 

xand- ‘laugh’ 

xand-aw-al ‘to make 

laugh’ 

J>j\j zang- ‘rock, swing’ 

JKij zang-‘rock, swing’ 

Jjf&j zang-aw-al‘to rock 
[e.g., in a cradle]’ 


Table 8.38: Causative verbs 


8.2.8 The auxiliary to be and the verbalizers J-LS^ /kedal/ and Jjf /kawal/ 

The three Pashto verbs to be, J-Lif /kedal/ ‘to become’, and J S /kawal/ ‘to make; to 
do’ are all used with other verbs to form morphologically complicated verb construc¬ 
tions. The verb to be is used in compound verb constructions (Section 8.4), while J Jjf 
/kedal/ and J S /kawal/ are used to form denominal verbs (Section 8.2.4.4). Most 
Pashto grammars refer to all three as auxiliary verbs, but properly speaking, only to be 
is an auxiliary. This grammar therefore adopts the term verbalizer for J-Lif /kedal/ 
and J S /kawal/ when used as light verbs in denominal constructions. (See the sec¬ 
ond footnote of Section 8.2.4.4.) 

The uses of these three verbs will be described later; for now we are only providing 
tables of their inflected forms, as they are irregular and are among the building blocks 
necessary to form verb constructions. The verbalizers have double sets of aorist forms: 
one with the aorist prefix _j /wa-/ and one without; the stems remain identical. The 
tables in this section list the irregular forms; that is, those without _j /wa-/, because 
they are the forms used as verbalizers. When J-Lif /kedal/ and J S /kawal/ are used 
as main verbs, they have regular aorist forms that take_j /wa-/. 



Verb components 


229 


The Middle dialects use the three Pashto verbs to be, /kedal/ ‘to become’, and 
/kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ in the same way as the General Pashto dialects do, but some 
of the forms differ. Tables of their respective paradigms are in the following sections. 

Some authors describe the existential particle /sta/ as an alternative form of 
to be. We treat it as a sentence-level operator: see Section 10.1.1. 


8.2.8.1 Forms of to be 

As is typical of Indo-European languages, the verb to be in Pashto is irregular. Indeed, 
alone among Pashto verbs, the verb to be does not even have a standard infinitive or 
citation form, so in English it is commonly referred to by the infinitive of its English 
gloss, to be, or sometimes by its first person singular present continuous form, ^ 
/yam/. It also has suppletive stems; for example, ^ /y-/ for first and second person 
present continuous forms, but i /d-/ for third person present continuous. In addition, 
in General Pashto and Waziri, to be does not have separate aorist forms, with the ex¬ 
ception in General Pashto of the third person present form ^j /wi/ ‘he/she/it is, they 
are’. In the first and second person, speakers will use either present continuous forms 
of to be or present aorist forms of J Jjf /kedal/ ‘to become’ where one might expect 
present aorist forms, as in 8.43 below. Dzadrani does have distinct forms of to be for 
the present continuous and present aorist. There is no aspectual distinction in the past 
tense of to be of any of the dialects; i.e., there are no past aorist forms for to be. 

In Pashto to be may act as the copula and also as an auxiliary verb in a com¬ 
pound tense construction (see Section 8.5.3). The forms of to be are shown in Table 
8.39 through Table 8.48. 

Imperative forms of the verb to be are built from the present aorist base /s-/. 
The singular uses a special form, a_A /sa/ ‘be!’, while the plural uses the second person 
plural form, ^ /say/‘be!’; 



230 


Verbs 


to be 


Singular 

Plural 

1st 


(* 

Ji 



yam 

yu 

2nd 


L ^ 

ye 

yastay 

yay (E) 




yast(S) 

3rd 

M 

day (E) 

65 

da (E) 

& 

di 


F 

day (W) 

05 

da; da(W) 

- 


Table 8.39: GP present continuous of to be 


to be 


Singular 

Plural 

1st 


yam (a) 

ya 

yi 

2nd 


ye 

yastay 

3rd 

M 

day 

di 


F 

do 



Table 8.40: Waziri present continuous of to be 





Verb components 


231 


to be 


Singular 

Plural 

1st 


yam (a) 

yi 

2nd 


ye 

yay 

3rd 

M 

day 

di 


F 

do 



Table 8.41: Dzadrani present continuous of to be 


to be Singular Plural 

Present continuous forms of 

1st 

to be, or present aorist forms 
ofJjijf kedal‘to become’ 
2nd (see text) 


3rd M 

wi 


F 


Table 8.42: GP present aorist of to be (= present continuous except in 3rd person) 


to be Singular Plural 

„ . Present continuous forms of 

1st 

to be, or present aorist forms 
of kedal ‘to become’ (see 
2nd text) 


3rd M wi 


F 


Table 8.43: Waziri present aorist of to be (= present continuous except in 3rd person) 



232 


Verbs 


to be 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

wam(a) 

wi 

2nd 

we 

way 

3rd 

M 

wi 

? (Septfonds 
is unclear on 
this form.) 

F 





Table 8.45: GP past of to be 



Verb components 


233 


to be 


Singular 

Plural 

1st 


warn (a) 

wi 



wa 


2nd 


we 

wastay 

3rd 

M 

wa 

wi 


F 

wa 

we 


Table 8.46: Waziri past of to be 


to be 


Singular 

Plural 

1st 


wam(a) 

wi 

2nd 


we 

way 

3rd 

M 

wa 

wi 


F 

wa 

we 


Table 8.47: Dzadrani past of to be 


to be 

Singular 

Plural 

2nd 

4_C- 



sa 

say 


Table 8.48: Imperative of to be 



234 


Verbs 


8.2.8.2 Forms of J-LS' /kedal/ ‘to become’ 

The present continuous forms of the intransitive verbalizer J-L/f /kedal/ ‘to become’ 
are shown in Table 8.49, Table 8.50, and Table 8.51. 


Jjjf kedal‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 


V" 


kegam 

kegu 

2nd 


•V' 


kege 

kegay 


F 


Table 8.49: GP present continuous of J Jjf /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


kedal ‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kezam(a) 

kezi 


keza 


2nd 

keze 

kezay 

3rd 

M 

kezi 


F 




Table 8.50: Waziri present continuous of /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


kegi 


The present aorist forms of J-L/f /kedal/ ‘to become’ are shown in Table 8.52, 
Table 8.53, and Table 8.54. They are often pronounced with an initial /s/ in ordinary 
speech in the Southwest dialect, although speakers may have /s/ in reading and careful 







Verb components 


235 


kedal ‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kegam(a) 

kegi 

2nd 

kege 

kegay 

3rd 



M 

kegi 



F 


Table 8.51: Dzadrani present continuous of /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


JjjT kedal‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

r 5. 



S9m 

su 

2nd 




se 

say 

3rd 



M 

lT 1 



si 


F 


Table 8.52: GP present aorist of JJl/T /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


kedal ‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

sam(a) 

si 


sa 


2nd 

se 

§0y 

3rd 

M 

F 

si 



Table 8.53: Waziri present aorist of /kedal/ ‘to become’ 



236 


Verbs 


kedal ‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

sam(a) 

si 

2nd 

se 

say 

3rd 

M 

si 


F 




Table 8.54: Dzadrani present aorist of /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


speech. In General Pashto and Waziri, the first and second person forms are identical 
to those of the present aorist forms of to be (Table 8.42). 

The past continuous forms of J-lcf /kedal/ ‘to become’ are shown in Table 8.55 
and Table 8.57. Our reading of Lorimer is that Waziri does not distinguish aspect for 
/kedal/ ‘to become’ in the past tense, so we have only past forms for that dialect (Table 
8.56). Although Septfonds does not list any past forms of /kedal/ ‘to become’ with the 
past tense affix /-al-/, in his discussion of Dzadrani verbs in general, he does say that 
it “serves only to relieve ambiguities” (Septfonds, 1994:141), which implies that it may 
also appear in forms of /kedal/ ‘to become’. Moreover, as can be seen elsewhere in 
this grammar, /-al-/ is used in both General Pashto and Waziri forms of /kedal/ ‘to 
become’. However, we have no data to confirm this supposition, so we are not listing 
forms with /-al-/for Dzadrani. 

The past aorist forms of jJjf /kedal/ ‘to become’ are shown in Table 8.58 and 
Table 8.59. See Table 8.56 for past forms of Waziri J Jjf /kedal/ ‘to become’, which 
may not distinguish aspect. 



Verb components 


237 


Jjjf kedal‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f(J)^ 

ked(al)am 

ked(al)u 

2nd 

ked(al)e 

l£( 

ked(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

keda 

(s)JxS' 

kedal(a) 

F 

«(j)V 

ked(al)a 

ked(al)e 


Table 8.55: GP past continuous of J xS /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


kedal ‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

sw(al)am(a) 

sw(al)i 


sw(al)a 


2nd 

sw(al)e 

sw(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

S0 

swal 

F 

sw(al)a 

sw(al)e 


Table 8.56: Waziri past continuous of /kedal/ ‘to become’ 



238 


Verbs 


kedal ‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kedam(a) 

kedi 

2nd 

kede 

keday 

3rd 

M 

keda 

keda(l) 

F 

keda 

kede 


Table 8.57: Dzadrani past continuous of /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


kedal‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 


j( 


sw(al)am 

sw(al)u 

2nd 




sw(al)e 

sw(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

aJ* 



SB 

swal(a) 

F 

sw(al)a 

sw(al)e 


Table 8.58: GP past aorist of Jj i/f /kedal/ ‘to become' 





Verb components 


239 


kedal ‘to become’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

swam(a) 

swi 

2nd 

swe 

sway 

3rd 

M 

sa 

swa(l) 

F 

swa 

swe 

Table 8.59: Dzadrani past aorist of /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


8.2.8.3 Forms of JyT /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 

Table 8.60, Table 8.61, and Table 8.62 illustrate the formation of the present continuous 
of the transitive verbalizer J S /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’. 

J £ kawal ‘to make; to 
do* 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kawam 

kawu 

2nd 

kawe 

kaway 

3rd 

M 

kawf 


F 




Table 8.60: GP present continuous of JjS” /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 





240 


Verbs 


kawal ‘to make; to do’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kawam(a) 

kawf 


kawa 


2nd 

kawe 

kaway 


M kawf 


F 


Table 8.61: Waziri present continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 


kawal ‘to make; to do’ Singular Plural 


1st 


kawam(a) 

kawf 

2nd 


kawe 

kaway 

3rd 

M 

kawf 



F 


Table 8.62: Dzadrani present continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 





Verb components 


241 


The aorist forms of the transitive verbalizer (used with denominal verbs) are irreg¬ 
ular, and are therefore best analyzed as fully inflected forms. Table 8.63, Table 8.64, 
and Table 8.65 illustrate them. 


J £ kawal ‘to make; to 
do* 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f/ 

j/ 


lorn 

ku 


kram 

kru 

2nd 

s 5 / 



ke 

kay 


kre 

kfay 

3rd 

M 

ki 



kri 


F 




Table 8.63: GP present aorist of J £ /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 


kawal ‘to make; to do’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kam(a) 

ki 


ka 


2nd 

ke 

kay 

3rd 

M 

ki 



ko 


F 


Table 8.64: Waziri present aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 







242 


Verbs 


kawal ‘to make; to do’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kam(a) 

ki 

2nd 

ke 

kay 

3rd 

M 

ko 



F 


Table 8.65: Dzadrani present aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 


The ^ /r/ in present aorist forms is usually written, and is always pronounced in 
careful speech, but is unpronounced in ordinary speech in many dialects. 

Table 8.66, Table 8.67, and Table 8.68 illustrate the formation of the past continu¬ 
ous of the transitive verbalizer. 


J jS" kawal ‘to make; to 
do* 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kawalam 

kawalu 

2nd 

kawale 

kawa lay 

3rd 

M 

kawa 

(s)JjS' 

kawa 1(a) 


kawa 


F 

a/ 

kawala 

kawale 


kawa 

lSj£ 
kawe 


Table 8.66: GP past continuous of J £ /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 



Verb components 


243 


kawal ‘to make; to do’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kawa lam (a) 

kawali 


kawala 


2nd 

kawale 

kawalay 


M kawa kawal 

kowa 


F kawala kawale 

kawa kawe 


Table 8.67: Waziri past continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 


kawal‘to make; to do’ Singular Plural 


1st 


kawa lam (a) 

kawali 

2nd 


kawale 

kawalay 

3rd 

M 

kowa 

kawa(l) 


F 

kawala 

kawale 


Table 8.68: Dzadrani past continuous of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 


Table 8.69, Table 8.70, and Table 8.71 illustrate the formation of the past aorist of 
the transitive verbalizer. 

Although the past aorist forms of the General Pashto transitive verbalizer without 
the Jl /-al-/ suffix are orthographically identical to the present aorist forms, the fact 
that in the present aorist the ^ /r/ is often not pronounced means that in speech the 
bases are often not identical—so the Jl / -al-/ suffix is not always required to differ¬ 
entiate the tense. In past third person forms, even the /r/ can be dropped, since the 
personal suffixes differ from those in the present: past 4 _ /-a, -a/ versus present /- 
i/; thus encoding tense without need of either Jl /-al-/ or^ /r/. In Waziri and Dzadrani, 



244 


Verbs 


JjS" kawal ‘to make; to 
do* 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f/ 

i/ 


kram 

kru 



X 


kralam 

kralu 

2nd 

s 5 / 



kre 

kfay 


J/ 



krale 

kralay 

3rd 

M 

/ 

J/ 


kf 

krai 


aT 



ka 

krala 

F 

s / 

J/ 


kra 

krale 


aT 

s 5 / 


ka 

krala 

kre 


Table 8.69: GP past aorist of J £ /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 



Verb components 


245 


the longer forms that show /-al-/ in Table 8.70 and Table 8.71 are rarer than the short 
forms. 


kawal ‘to make; to do’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kram 

kri 


kra lam 

krali 

2nd 

kre 

kfay 


krale 

kralay 

3rd 



M 

ka 

krai 

F 

kra 

krale 


krala 

kre 

Table 8.70: Waziri past aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 


kawal ‘to make; to do’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

kram (a) 

kri 


kra lam (a) 

krali 

2nd 

kre 

kfay 


krale 

kralay 

3rd 

M 

ka 

kre(l) 

F 

kra 

krale 


krala 

kre 


Table 8.71: Dzadrani past aorist of /kawal/ ‘to make; to do’ 





246 


Verbs 


8.2.9 Participles 

There are two kinds of participles in Pashto, present and past. These participles are 
both formed on past bases and declined as Class Illb adjectives (Section 6.2.1.3.2). They 
are described in more detail in the sub-sections below. 


8.2.9.1 Present participle 

Formation: past continuous base (without Jl /-al-/) + j- /-unk/ + Class Illb 
adjectival suffixes 

The present participle is declined like a Class Illb adjective (Section 6.2.1.3.2). 
Some examples are given in Table 8.72. 


Verb class 

Verb 

Present participle 

First Conjugation 

Jaj wahal ‘to beat’ 

wah-unk-ay 

Second Conjugation 

Jjjj bowal ‘to take 
away’ 

bow-unk-ay 

Third Conjugation 

xalas-edal ‘to 

become free’ 

xalas-ed-unk-ay 


xalas-awal 

‘to liberate’ 

xalas-aw-unk-ay 


Table 8.72: Present participles 


An example of a declined present participle is given in Table 8.73. 



Verb components 


247 


darawsl'to Masculine Feminine 

threaten’ ” " ' ” ' 


Singular Plural Singular Plural 


Direct 

L5%>'i 
darawunkay 

i 

darawunki 

darawunke 

darawunke 

Oblique 

<_ 

darawunki 

darawunko 


darawunko 


Ablative 


Vocative 

darawunkaya 


Table 8.73: Present participle: declension 


8.2.9.2 Past participle 
Formation: 

• (First and Second conj.) past continuous base + Class Illb adjectival suffixes 

• (Third conj.) Noun/Adj. + past aorist base of J xf /kedal/ or jS /kawal/ + 
Class Illb adjectival suffixes 

In these forms, the suffix Jl /-al-/ may be dropped. Past participles are then de¬ 
clined using the Class Illb adjective suffixes (Section 6.2.1.3.2). They are used to form 
the perfect constructions for first and second conjugation verbs (see Section 8.4.1). 
Some examples are given in Table 8.74, and an example of a declined past participle 
is given in Table 8.75. 



248 


Verbs 


Verb class 

Verb 

Past participle 

First Conjugation 

Jjfcj wahal ‘to beat’ 

i Jl&j wah-al-ay 

Second Conjugation 

Jjjj bowal ‘to take 
away’ 

bow-al-ay 

Third Conjugation 

xalas-edal ‘to be 

liberated’ 

xalas 

saway 


Jxalas-awal 
‘to set free’ 

iS_f xalas 

karay 


Table 8.74: Past participles 


JL" tlal'togo’ 

Masculine 

Singular 

Plural 

Direct 


J* 


tlalay 

tlali 


J 3 

J* 


tlay 

tli 



_jl)u 

Oblique 

tlali 

tlalo 





tli 

tlo 

Ablative 

Vocative 

UL' 

tlalya 

aJu- 

tlya 



Feminine 


Singular 

Plural 



tlale 

I- 

tlale 

I- 

tie 

tie 


jJiL" 


tlalo 


jk 


tlo 


Table 8.75: Past participle: declension 





Simple verb constructions 


249 


8.2.9.3 Irregularities among past participles 

The verbs J-Lif /kedal/ and J S /kawal/ (Section 8.2.8) form their past participles 
from the past aorist base, rather than the past continuous, and these participles are 
used to form the perfect constructions for third conjugation (denominal) verbs. The 
prefixed verbs built from JJj /tlal/ ‘to go’— JJblj /ratlal/‘to come’, JJjji /dartlal/ ‘to 
go (to you)’, and J hjj /wartlal/ ‘to go (to him)’—also form their past participles from 
their past aorist base. All of these atypical forms are shown in Table 8.76. 


Infinitive 

Aorist participle 

JjuT kedal ‘to become’ 

saway 

Jkawal‘to make; to do’ 

karay 

JJu'l j ratlal ‘to come’ 

Js>\j rayalay 

Jbdartlal ‘to go (to you)’ 

darayalay 

JJjjj wartlal ‘to go (to him)’ 

L Jl p jj warayalay 


Table 8.76: Past participles built on aorist bases 


8.3 Simple verb constructions 

Formation rules for each type of verb construction are given in terms of the verb com¬ 
ponents described above in Section 8.2. 


8.3.1 Present continuous 


Formation: present continuous base + present PNG 




250 


Verbs 


Jjl—j rasedal ‘to arrive’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

(Vr-J 

Jsr*J 


rasegam 

rasegu 

2nd 




rasege 

rasegay 

3rd 

M 

F 

rasegi 


Present continuous, first conjugation (intransitive) 



niwal ‘to catch’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

*-*■*"£* 



nisam 

nisu 

2nd 




nise 

nisay 

3rd 

M 

F 

L 

— nisf 



Table 8.78: Present continuous, first conjugation (transitive) 





Simple verb constructions 


251 


Jjjjjj prewatal ‘to fall’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f 'JJij* 

JJjU 


prewazam 

prewazu 

2nd 


tejJU 


prewaze 

prewazay 

3rd 

M 

F 

_ prewazi 



Table 8.79: Present continuous, second conjugation 


roxanawal’to 

enlighten’ 


Singular 


Plural 


1st 


f 

roxanawam 

jyLsjj 

roxanawu 

2nd 


roxanawe 

roxanaway 

3rd 

M 

_ roxanawf 



F 




Table 8.80: Present continuous, third conjugation 



252 


Verbs 


8.3.2 Present aorist 

Formation: present aorist base + present PNG 



rasedal ‘to arrive’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 


(Vr-JJ 




warasegam 

warasegu 

2nd 






warasege 

warasegay 

3rd 

M 





warasegi 



F 




Table 8.81: Present aorist, first conjugation (intransitive) 


J jJ niwal ‘to catch’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 




wanisam 

wanisu 

2nd 




wanise 

wanisay 

3rd 

M 

F 

- wanisi 



Table 8.82: Present aorist, first conjugation (transitive) 







Simple verb constructions 


253 


Jjjjjj prewatal ‘to fall’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f jJiji 

JJJiJ 


prewazam 

prewazu 

2nd 


tejju 


prewaze 

prewazay 

3rd 

M 

F 

_ prewazi 



Table 8.83: Present aorist, second conjugation 


roxanawal'to 

enlighten’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 




roxan k(r)am 

roxan k(r)u 

2nd 

OLvjj 






roxan k(r)e 

roxan k(r)ay 

3rd 

M 

F 

_ roxan k(r)i 



Table 8.84: Present aorist, third conjugation 



254 


Verbs 


8.3.3 Past continuous 

Formation: Past continuous base + past PNG 

As mentioned earlier, the past tense affix Jl /-al-/ does not occur uniformly through¬ 
out the paradigm: it is optional in any verbs with other morphological markers of tense. 
These groups would include first and second person forms of first conjugation intransi¬ 
tive verbs, as well as those of third conjugation verbs, because both types redundantly 
encode tense with the affixes.^ /-eg-/ and_L_ /-ed-/; and likewise any strong verbs, 
as they encode tense through allomorphic stems. The past tense affix is prohibited in 
the third person masculine singular for all of the above classes, and obligatory in third 
plural masculine forms. These constraints prevent homophony between the singular 
and plural forms of masculine verbs, as the PNG suffix is the same for both: 4_ /-a/. 
The PNG suffix 4_ /-a/ can thus be omitted in plural masculine forms, resulting in the 
tense affix becoming a portmanteau morpheme that encodes tense as well as person, 
number, and gender. 


(J 

rasedal ‘to arrive’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 


(*(J )-V"j 

rased(al)am 

rased(al)u 

2nd 


rased(al)e 

rased(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

raseda 

(OJ-V-" j 
rasedal(a) 


F 

j 

rased(al)a 

c5(J)-L-"J 

rased(al)e 


Table 8.85: Past continuous, first conjugation (intransitive) 



Simple verb constructions 


255 


Jjj niwal'tocatch’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f(J 

jCJ)^ 


niw(al)am 

n iw(al)u 

2nd 


C$( J)j^ 


niw(al)e 

niw(al)ay 


M ijj (a)JjJ 

niwa niwal(a) 


niw(al)a niw(al)e 


Table 8.86: Past continuous, first conjugation (transitive) 


Jjjjjj prewatal ‘to fall’ Singular Plural 


1st 


f(J 

prewat(al)am 

prewat(al)u 

2nd 


prewat(al)e 

prewat(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

prewot 
prewata ne 

prewat(o) ne 

(J 

prewatal 


F 

»(<J 

prewatala 

prewatale 


Table 8.87: Past continuous, second conjugation 



256 


Verbs 


Jroxanawal ‘to 
enlighten’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

roxanawalam 

roxanawalu 

2nd 

roxanawale 

cSyWjj 

roxanawalay 

3rd 

M 

roxanawa 

roxanawal 

F 

roxanaw(al)a 

cfy'-r’Jj 

roxanaw(al)e 


Table 8.88: Past continuous, third conjugation 


8.3.4 Past aorist 

Formation: Past aorist base + past PNG 


rasedal ‘to arrive’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

(‘(J)-Vjj 

warased(al)am 

j(J )Vjj 

warased(al)u 

2nd 

c5(J 

warased(al)e 

warased(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

waraseda 

warasedal(a) 

F 

s (J)-V" jj 
warased(al)a 

warased(al)e 


Table 8.89: Past aorist, first conjugation (intransitive) 





Simple verb constructions 


257 


Jjj niwal'tocatch’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f(J 

waniw(al)am 

waniw(al)u 

2nd 

waniw(al)e 

waniw(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

waniwa 

waniwal(a) 

F 

waniw(al)a 

c5(J )jt>j 

waniw(al)e 


Table 8.90: Past aorist, first conjugation (transitive) 


Jjjjjj prewatal ‘to fall’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

f(J 

prewat(al)am 

j( 

prewat(al)u 

2nd 

c5(J 

prewat(al)e 

prewat(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

prewot Ajjjjj 
prewata ne 

prewat(o) ne 

(J 

prewatal 

F 

°(<J 

prewatala 

prewatale 


Table 8.91: Past aorist, second conjugation 



258 


Verbs 


Jroxanawal ‘to 
enlighten’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

(*(<-!)/" 

roxan 

kr(al)am 

j(J)./ 

roxan kr(al)u 

2nd 

OLvjj 

c5(J)/ 
roxan kr(al)e 

&(J)/ 

roxan kr(al)ay 

3rd 

M 

/ 

roxan kar 

J 

roxan krai 

F 

OLvjj 

roxan kr(al)a 

c5(J ^ 

roxan kr(al)e 


Table 8.92: Past aorist, third conjugation 


8.3.5 Continuous imperative 

Formation: Present continuous base + -a (sg.)/-ay (pi.) 

Imperative verbs do not encode the categories of person or tense; however, they do 
have both continuous and aorist forms. The difference is illustrated below in Section 
8.5.2.5. In continuous imperatives, stress is located according to the lexical stress of 
the verb. Imperatives are negated with the particle /ma/, which takes the primary 
stress for the verbal construction, as illustrated in Table 8.94, Table 8.96, and Table 
8.98. Only the continuous imperative is used in negation. Note that NE Pashto treats 
negative forms differently for prefixed verbs, placing the negative particle before the 
entire verb (Heston 1992:1589), whereas other dialects place it between the prefix and 
the stem (Table 8.96). 



Simple verb constructions 


259 


Jjj niwal'to catch’ Singular 

Plural 

2nd 4_wwJ 


nisa 

nisay 

Table 8.93: Continuous imperative, first conjugation 


Jjj niwal ‘to catch’ 

Singular 

Plural 

2nd 

4_wwJ 4^4 

<u 


ma nisa 

ma nisay 

Table 8.94: Continuous imperative, first conjugation (negative) 


J S^ji prekawal ‘to 
cut’ 

Singular 

Plural 

2nd 




prekawa 

prekaway 

Table 8.95: Continuous imperative, second conjugation 


prekawal‘to 

cut’ 

Singular 

Plural 

2nd 




pre ma kawa 

pre ma kaway 



Cs 


ma prekawa ne 

ma prekaway ne 


Table 8.96: Continuous imperative, second conjugation (negative) 



260 


Verbs 


Jroxanawal 
‘to enlighten’ 


Singular 


Plural 


2nd 


roxanawa 


Csy^jj 

roxanaway 


Table 8.97: Continuous imperative, third conjugation 


Jroxanawal 
‘to enlighten’ 


Singular 


Plural 


2nd 


ajj Cj. aj isy hi jj 

ma roxanawa ma roxanaway 


Table 8.98: Continuous imperative, third conjugation, negative 


8.3.6 Aorist imperative 

Formation: Present aorist base + -a (sg.)/-ay (pi.) 

Aorist imperative forms are used only in the affirmative. To negate an imperative, 
the continuous form is used. 


Jjj niwal ‘to catch’ Singular 


Plural 


2nd 


wanisa wanisay 


Table 8.99: Aorist imperative, first conjugation 







Simple verb constructions 


261 


prekawal ‘to Singular 

cut’ 

Plural 

2nd o 

prekra 

p re kray 

Table 8.100: Aorist imperative, second conjugation 


JyLijj roxanawal Singular 

‘to enlighten’ 

Plural 

2nd a ^ 

roxan kra 

is £ 

roxan kray 

Table 8.101: Aorist imperative, third conjugation 


8.3.7 Continuous optative 

Formation: past continuous base + <_£L /-ay/ (SW,SE), ^ /-ay/ (NW), or /-e/ 
(NE) 

Some examples of continuous optative verbs are shown in Table 8.102. Optative 
verb forms do not show agreement. 

Optative forms occur after the conditional particle aS~ /ka/ ‘if’ and the counterfac- 
tual particle IS” /kaske/ ‘if only’; see Section 10.1.2.4 for an example. Continuous 

optative forms can also be used in combination with the aorist forms of J-Lif /kedal/ 
‘to become’ to yield a verb construction meaning can X, able to X (see Section 8.2.8.2 
for the aorist forms of J-Lif /kedal/ and Section 8.5.4 for examples). 



262 


Verbs 


Conjugation 

Verb 

Continuous optative 

First (intransitive) 

Jjl— j rasedal ‘to arrive’ 

rased(al)ay sw,se 

rased(al)ay nw 

y (, rased(al)e ne 

Second (intransitive) 

Jjjjjj prewatal ‘to fall’ 

prewat(al)ay sw.se 

( prewat(al)ay nw 

y (, I)Oijj prewat(al)eNE 

Third (intransitive) 

paxedal‘to ripen; to 

mature’ 

paxed(al)ay sw,se 

paxed(al)ay nw 

v (, paxed(al)eNE 

First (transitive) 

Jniwal ‘to catch’ 

fj niw(al)ay sw.se 

niw(al)ayNw 

y (, niw(al)eNE 

Second (transitive) 

J jS sjjj prekawal ‘to cut’ 

prekaw(al)ay sw.se 

t£(J prekaw(al)ay nw 

v (, prekaw(al)e ne 

Third (transitive) 

J y Li jj roxa n awa l‘to 
enlighten’ 

WjL) 

roxanaw(al)ay sw,se 
<^(J)_yLi jj roxanaw(al)ay nw 
v f, hjjLi roxanaw(al)e ne 


Table 8.102: Continuous optative forms 





Simple verb constructions 


263 


8.3.8 Aorist optative 

Formation: past aorist base + /-ay/ (SW,SE), /-ay/ (NW), or /-e/ (NE) 

Some examples of aorist optative verbs are shown in Table 8.103. 

Aorist optative forms can be used in combination with the aorist forms of J-Lif 
/kedal/ ‘to become’ to yield a verb construction meaning could X, was able to X (see 
Section 8.2.8.2 and Section 8.5.4); however, in the case of third conjugation intransitive 
verbs, the light verb /sw-/ is omitted. Therefore instead of the incorrect * 

/pox sway si/, we would see +jj /pox si/ ‘could ripen; could mature’. 



264 


Verbs 


Verb type 

Verb 

Aorist optative 

First conjugation, 
intransitive 

Jjl— j rasedal ‘to arrive’ 

warased(al)ay sw,se 

warased(al)ay nw 

—jj warased(al)e ne 

Second conjugation, 
intransitive 

Jjjjjj prewatal ‘to fall’ 

prewat(al)ay sw,se 

prewat(al)ay nw 

y (, ho<uj prewat(al)e ne 

Third conjugation, 
intransitive 

paxedal ‘to ripen; to 

mature’ 

pox (sway) sw.se 

i) £jj pox (sway) nw 

(V pox(swe)NE 

First conjugation, 
transitive 

Jniwal ‘to catch’ 

waniway sw,se 

waniwayNw 

y 1 jwq ji waniwe ne 

Second conjugation, 
transitive 

Jprekawal ‘to cut’ 

prekaway sw,se 

prekaway nw 

prekaweNE 

Third conjugation, 
transitive 

JjJ Li jj roxa n awa l‘to 
enlighten’ 

roxa n ka ray sw.se 

t-jj roxankarayNw 

y ^ roxan kare ne 


Table 8.103: Aorist optative forms 





Compound verb constructions 


265 


8.4 Compound verb constructions 

There are two kinds of compound verb construction: those that convey the perfect and 
those that convey a sense of potential or ability. 


8.4.1 Perfect constructions 

8.4.1.1 Present perfect 

Formation: past participle + present continuous of to be 

Table 8.104 and Table 8.105 illustrate the forms of the present perfect. Alignment 
is usually ergative in both present and past perfect constructions; it therefore appears 
to be governed by the matrix verb, which is built on a past stem. Dialectal variants can 
be inferred from the various dialectal forms of to be, seen in (Table 8.39), so they are 
not provided here. 



rasedal ‘to arrive’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

M 

pi 

rasedalay 

yam 

Ji 

rasedali yu 


F 

pi (J'V’J 

rasedale yam 

y 1 

rasedale yu 

2nd 

M 

rasedalay ye 

& tJ-V-M 
rasedali yay 


F 

rasedale ye 

& 

rasedale yay 

3rd 

M 

c £ 2 ’j 

rasedalay day 

cS - 2 

rasedali di 


F 

rasedale da 

cS - 2 

rasedale di 


Table 8.104: Present perfect, first and second conjugations 


With the addition of the modal clitic /ba/ and present aorist, rather than present 

continuous, forms of to be, the construction expresses future perfect, as in: 



266 


Verbs 


paxedal ‘to ripen; 
to mature’ 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

M 

pox saway 

yam 

JJ 4j>-\j 

paxa sawi yu 

F 

paxa sawe 

yam 

y. 

paxe sawe yu 

2nd 

M 

pox saway ye 

paxa sawi yay 

F 

paxa sawe ye 

CM crS 

paxe sawe yay 

3rd 

M 

l 

pox saway 
day 

paxa sawi di 

F 

a 3 (_£4 j>cj 
paxa sawe da 

cS- 2 

paxe sawe di 


Table 8.105: Present perfect, third conjugation 



Compound verb constructions 


267 


• 4j /ba rasedalay yam/‘I [m.] will have arrived’ 

• <_£j 4j /ba rasedale wi/‘she/they will have arrived’ 


8.4.1.2 Past perfect 

Formation: past participle + past continuous of to be 

Table 8.106 illustrates the forms of the past perfect. 


Jjl—j rasedal ‘to arrive’ Singular Plural 


fj iJ'V 'j jj iJ-Vo 

rasedalay rasedali wu 

warn 



F 

fj J-Vj 

rasedale warn 

JJ JVo 

rasedale wu 

2nd 

M 

^j 

rasedalay we 

cfj iJ-V-J 

rasedali way 


F 

J (J'V’J 

rasedale we 

cfj (J'V’J 

rasedale way 

3rd 

M 

4 j (J-Vo 

rasedalay wa 

jj J-Vj 

rasedali wa 


F 

4 J 

rasedale wa 

rasedale we 


Table 8.106: Past perfect 


8.4.2 Potential constructions 

These constructions express ability: the present potential, translatable as ‘can X; be 
able to X,’ and the past potential, translatable as ‘could X, was able to X.’ Future poten¬ 
tial is expressed by means of the modal clitic aj /ba/ in construction with the present 
potential. 



268 


Verbs 


8.4.2.1 Present potential 

Formation: continuous optative + present aorist of j-LS" /kedal/ ‘to become’ 


rasedal'to 

arrive* 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

I*-* 1 

rased(al)ay sam 

J'**’ 

rased(al)ay su 

2nd 

rased(al)ay se 

rased(al)ay say 

3rd 

rased(al)ay si 

ur 5, c£(J)-V-’j 

rased(al)ay si 

Table 8.107: Present potential 


8.4.2.2 Past potential 

Formation: aorist optative + past aorist of J-Lif /kedal/ ‘to become’ 

rasedal'to 

arrive* 

Singular 

Plural 

1st 

j*(J )j£ ls(<J 

warased(al)ay sw(al)am 

warased(al)ay sw(al)u 

2nd 

<jS(J )j^ c5(J )-^jJ 

warased(al)ay sw(al)e 

c5(J )-V"jj 
warased(al)ay sw(al)ay 

3rd 

warased(al)ay sw(al)a 

warased(al)ay swal(a) 


Table 8.108: Past potential 







Verb usage 


269 


8.5 Verb usage 

Example sentences in this section come from our native speaker informants, the Inter¬ 
net, and also from data in Lorimer (1902), Lorenz (1982), and Septfonds (1994). 


8.5.1 Uses of the verb to be 

8.5.1.1 to be as a copula 

The verb to be is used in copular constructions in the present tense to represent a 
present and continuing state: 

(8.6) 

asad-0 pilot-0 day 

Asad-M.DIR pilot-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Asad is a pilot.’ ®m 

(8.7) . a.a 4jjJ Uj 

zma loy-a gana-0 da da 

1SG.STR.POSS large-F.DIR sin-F.DIR this.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

ce paxtun-0 yam 

COMP Pashtoon-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘A great sin of mine is that I am Pashtoon.’ 

It is likewise used in copular constructions in the past tense to express past states: 

(8.8) . aj ^ 4j OjjJ 

nasima-0 parun pa kor-0 ki wa 
Nasima-F.DIR yesterday in... house-M ...in be.CONT.PST.3SG.F 

‘Nasima was home yesterday.’ <m 

(8.9) 

tasi dabandi wast 

2PL.STR.DIR outside be.CONT.PST.2PL 

‘Were you outside?’ (S w) 



270 


Verbs 


8.5.1.2 to be as an auxiliary verb 

The verb to be is used as an auxiliary verb with participles to form compound verb 
constructions we characterize as perfect (Section 8.4.1): 

(8.10) miz say-ina 0-acaw-dl-i 

1PL.STR.DIR goods-PL.M.DIR CONT-throw-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

wi 

be.CONT.PST.3PL.M 

‘We've thrown the trash away/left the goods behind.’ (*»«> 

(8.11) dzdke ce doy pa day a bonde der-a 

because COMP 3PL.M.OBL on... this.DIR ...on much-F.DIR 

ziyot-a kray-a 0-woxist-e wi 

much-F.DIR fee-F.DIR CONT-take.PST-PTCP.F.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Because they have already gotten a lot of money as carriage charges for that.’ 

(WAZ) 

(8.12) pa wa-ye man-a ce bdl-a wredz-0 ta 

on AOR-3.WK accept-IMP.SG COMP other-F.OBL day-F.OBL to 

mo a pa xeb-0 dzon-0 0-caw-ol-ay 

1SG.STR.OBL also on sleep-M self-M.DIR CONT-throw-PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

na wi 

NEG be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M 

‘You can bet that tomorrow I won't pretend to sleep [lit. that I won't have 
thrown myself into sleep] .* (DZA) 


8.5.2 Simple verb constructions 
8.5.2.1 Present continuous 

The present continuous form expresses the present tense. It covers states and condi¬ 
tions as well as ongoing actions, both in progress and habitual. 

(8.13) (%-j5 ( ^ jl ^i 

astraliya-0 pa afyanistan-0 ke do pi ar ti tim-0 

Australia-F.DIR in... Afghanistan-M ...in of P R T team-M.DIR 

jor-aw-i 

built-do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Australia is establishing a Provincial] R[econstruction] T[eam] team in 
Afghanistan.’ 



Verb usage 


271 


(8.14) . L* 4j ^Jalp jl a^jlj jlp*- ^ 

magar da nawara aw yalat-o kar-uno 

but of improper and mistaken-PL.M.OBL work-PL.M.OBL 

para-0 pa ma 0-acaw-e 

blame-F.DIR on 1SG.STR.OBL CONT-throw-2SG 

‘But you're blaming me for the misdeeds.’ 

(8.15) • flj ^ <_£ 'jJ*- jl 

Pakistani sander-e dram-e aw xabar-e 

Pakistani song-PL.F.DIR drama-PL.F.DIR and word-PL.F.DIR 

canel-una ye za 0-gor-am 

channel-PL.M.DIR 3.WK 1SG.STR.DIR CONT-see.PRS-lSG 

‘I watch their Pakistani music, TV, and discussion channels.’ 

(8.16) . t_£ jjJ 4j \Sj ^ 

numwar-ay masin-0 da nar-ay pa 

aforementioned-M.DIR machine-M.DIR of world-F.OBL on... 

gan-0 smir-0 zab-o bande 

numerous-M number-M language-PL.F.OBL ...on 

xadmat-0 kaw-i 

services-PL.M.DIR do.CONT-PRS.3 [SG.M] 

‘The aforementioned device functions in a large number of the world's 
languages.’ 

(8.17) za tipak-0 wis na waxal-a 

1SG.STR.DIR gun-M.DIR now NEG CONT\take.PRS-lSG 

‘I'm not using the gun now.’ (WAZ) 

(8.18) da mol-ina ile nazde 

this.DIR goods-PL.M.DIR here near 

xarts-iz-i ka bahar ta 

sold-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] if outside to 

drim-i 

go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Are these goods sold here or are they sent outside?’ cwazj 



272 


Verbs 


(8.19) de nor-e malk-e aya say-ina ce 

of other-PL.M.OBL country-PL.M.OBL this.DIR thing-PL.M.DIR COMP 

wole arzon-0 wi ile gron-0 

there cheap-PL.M.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3PL.M here expensive-PL.M.DIR 

wi ro-or-i aw 

be.A0R.PRS.3PL.M l-bring.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] and 

xarts-aw-i ye 

sold-do.CONT-PRS.3[PL.M] 3.WK 

‘They bring and sell things that are cheap in other countries and expensive 
here.’ (WAZ) 

8.5.2.1.1 Negation of present tense verbs 

The present tense is negated by placing 43 /na/ before the verb. Note that the negative 
particle bears the stress of the verb phrase. For example: 

(8.20) Ai Ljjl 43 silj 

wad-3 ta artiya-0 na 0-lar-am 

wedding-M.OBL for need-F.DIR NEG CONT-have-lSG 

‘Don't I need a wedding?’ 

(8.21) 43 tjf c—y- 4 j Jj 

wali pd xost-0 ke dari-0 xuwunck-ay na 

why in... Khost-M ...in Dari-M.DIR school-M.DIR NEG 

jor-eg-i 

built-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Why isn't a Dari school being built in Khost?’ 

(8.22) 4j ‘ 43 

ta wali zma sard dase xabar-e na 

2SG.STR.DIR why 1SG.STR.P0SS with such word-PL.F.DIR NEG 

kaw-e 

do.CONT-2SG 

‘Why don't you talk about such things with me?’ 

When an n-initial verb is negated, 0 /n/ is prefixed to the verb and the /a/ length¬ 
ens to /a/. 



Verb usage 


273 


(8.23) .jJU-li j r 

motar-0 n-0-dxl-am 
car-M.DIR NEG-CONT-buy.PRS-lSG 

‘I'm not buying a car.’ 16 

8.5.2.1.2 Present continuous for expressing future events 

The present continuous may be used to express a future event: 

(8.24) . pJ- 4j ^j>u 

dre badje ba dardz-am 

three o'clock WOULD arrive.CONT.PRS-lSG 

‘I'll come to you at 3 o'clock.’ 

In addition, the modal clitic aj /ba/ may accompany the present continuous form 
to express a future event, particularly in the NE dialect, and especially if words like 
tomorrow or next week are present or when the speaker is contrasting future actions. 
However, see Section 8.5.2.2.1 for a more common way to express the future. 

(8.25) . Aj jt a j 2 

da de xalk-o yam-0 ra-sara 

of this.OBL people-PL.M.OBL sorrow-M.DIR 1-COMIT 

day aw yam-0 ba ye 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M and sorrow-M.DIR WOULD 3.WK 

0-xor-am 

CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

‘I feel these people’s sorrow, and I am going to take care of it. [lit. the sorrow 
of these people is with me, and I will eat [their] sorrow.]’ 


16 Standardized version of 8.23: . Jti-I 



274 


Verbs 


(8.26) ^ ^ ^ jl ^ j^p ./ ^^“jj ^ ^ 

■ ^Sjg?- *■> t^j^r 

day a sura-0 ha pa har-o 15 wrack-o 

this.DIR council-F.DIR WOULD in... every-PL.M.OBL 15 day-PL.F.OBL 

ke ywanda-0 kaw-i aw da masum-0 da 

...in meeting-F.DIR do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.F] and of child-M.OBL of 

adabi-ato da pmxtiyd-0 lar-e care 

literature-PL.M.OBL of development-F.OBL path-PL.F.DIR ECHO 

ha 0-tser-i 

WOULD CONT-investigate-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘The council will be meeting every 15 days and will be looking at ways to 
develop children's literature.’ 

(8.27) yes ye deye sra be sar-0 

now COMIT... him.OBL ...COMIT WOULD head-M.DIR 

spin-aw-ema 

white-do.CONT.PRS-lSG 

‘I will grow old with him. [lit. I will whiten my hair with him.]’ ( dza) 

(8.28) tsa be 0-k-e tsa be na 

what WOULD CONT-do.PRS-2SG what WOULD NEG 

0-k-e 

CONT-do.PRS-2SG 

‘Oh, what you will do! What you will not do! * (DZA) 

S.5.2.2 Present aorist 

According to Penzl (1955: 114), “in many of their occurrences present [aorist] forms 
express a subjunctive mood rather than a perfective aspect.” This is true, although 
we believe the term irrealis to be more apt. In construction with the modal clitic aj 
/ ba/, present aorist forms express future events that are expected to occur; by them¬ 
selves or in construction with other modal particles, they express a variety of other 
events whose realization is not established in fact, but is desired, requested, doubted, 
required, and so on. These uses for perfect aorist forms are described in the following 
two sections. 



Verb usage 


275 


8.5.2.2.1 Expressing the future with present aorist plus aj /ba/ 

Pashto does not have a morphological future tense. When used with the modal clitic aj 
/ ba/, the present aorist form of the verb expresses an unrealized event that is expected 
to happen, as in sentence 8.29. For more examples of expressing the future, see Section 
10 . 1 . 2 . 1 . 

(8.29) . l5 SUjj-a Aj b 

da bd xowunk-e s-i 

3SG.F.STR.DIR WOULD teacher-F.DIR become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 
‘She will become a teacher.’ <m 


8.5.2.2.2 Other uses of the present aorist 

Present aorist forms are also used for wishes; curses; conjectures; gentle commands; 
expressions of necessity; probable, customary, or usual events; and questions express¬ 
ing doubt; some of these uses will be in construction with modals such as /de/, 
/kaske/ ‘if only’, -AjL /bayad/ ‘must, should’ and so on. Most frequently of all, 
the present aorist is used in subordinate clauses beginning with the complementizer 
aj>- /ca/ (when that clause expresses an event with irrealis semantics) or the condi¬ 
tional particle bf /ka/ ‘if’. The sentences below give examples of some of these uses 
of present aorist forms. 

As mentioned earlier (Section 8.2.8.1), there is only one unique present aorist form 
of to be: the third person form /wi/, which does not encode gender or number. Oth¬ 
erwise speakers either default to present continuous forms or else use present aorist 
forms of J.uS' /kedal/, as in 8.31 and 8.43 below. (Examples 8.36 and 8.47 are from 
Shafeev 1964: 46.) 

(8.30) • ^ tj* A3 ^ aLa 

os hila-0 kaw-dm ce ta ysl-ay 

now hope-F.DIR do.CONT-lSG COMP 2SG.STR.DIR quiet-M.DIR 

s-e 

become.AOR.PRS-2SG 

‘I hope you'll be quiet now.’ 



276 


Verbs 


(8.31) j\j£- : ,Jjjj (_jj aJ <dS" 

ce kala muxamux sterg-e pre we-lag-ed-e 

COMP when direct eye-PL.F.DIR on.3 AOR-hit-PST-PST.3PL.M 

musab-0 ta ye wa-way-al xxvar-0 

Musab-M.OBL to 3.WK AOR-tell.PST-PST.3PL.M miserable-M.DIR 

s-e musab-a 

become.AOR.PRS-2SG Musab-M.VOC 

‘As he looked directly at Musab, he said to him, 'May you be miserable, 
Musab!” 


(8.32) . JbJUir ^~ 

xayi daktar-0 abddla-0 dd mili jubhay-e 

maybe doctor-M.DIR Abdullah-M.DIR of national front-F.OBL 

kandid-0 wi 

candidate-M.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Maybe Doctor Abdullah will be a candidate for the United National Front.’ 17 


(8.33) 2 Jj JjI y>- ^I 2 4j Lja ^ 

•<=SJ 


dd nuk-ano zuw-al-0 xayi 

of fingernail-PL.M.ANIM.OBL bite-INF-PL.M.DIR maybe 


masum-ano ta da taswis-uno aw xwabd-io 

child-PL.M.ANIM.OBL for of concern-PL.M.OBL and sadness-PL.F.OBL 


da tsargand-aw-al-o yaw-a lar-0 

of revealed-do-INF-PL.M.OBL one-F.DIR path-F.DIR 


wi 

be.AOR.PRS.3[PL.M] 


‘Biting the fingernails may be a way for children to express concerns or 
distress.’ 


17 Standardized version of 8.32: JuJulS” ^ - UJIjup \f 



Verb usage 


277 


(8.34) . j sjU ^jIp-jLj i i ^jLjo 

xaye da bansat-uno da biya rayawdn-e la 

maybe of foundation-PL.M.OBL of then building-F.DIR from 

par-a pdi pdmlarana-0 

sake-M.ABL serious attention-F.DIR 

wa-s-i 

AOR-become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Maybe they will take a serious look at rebuilding [our social] foundations.’ 

(8.35) mar-ay ro-sdra wa-k-e 
food-F.DIR 1-COMIT AOR-do.PRS-2SG 

‘Have some food with me.’ (WAZ) 

(8.36) muz bayad kar-0 wu-k-u 

1PL.STR.DIR NEC work-M.OBL AOR-do.PRS-lPL. 

‘We must work.’ 

(8.37) V/ Oj -bL ^ Jj 

wali ye bayad zda kr-i 

why 3.WK NEC learned do.AOR-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Why do they have to learn it?’ 

(8.38) • ^ a 4j 4j 

na poh-eg-am pd kum-0 lafaz-0 de 

NEG learned-beome.CONT.PRS-lSG INSTR which-M word-M NEC 

mor-e yad kr-am 

mother-F.VOC memory do.AOR-lSG 

‘I don't know which words I should use to remember you, mother.’ 

(8.39) kala kala e sar-0 bagra-0 wa-nis-i 

when when of city-M.OBL manual.harvest(?)-F.DIR AOR-gather.PRS-IPL 

aw kala biya ripal-0 na kor-0 woxl-i 

and when then reaper-M.OBL from work-M.DIR AOR\take.PRS-lPL 

‘Sometimes we gather village people for harvesting by hand, and sometimes 
we use the reaper.’ (WAZ) 1 ® 



278 


Verbs 


(8.40) l.a ( I s ^ ^ ^ ^ *dS*" -dS' 

kala kala zmung pa sterg-o ke uxk-e 

when when 1PL.STR.POSS in... eye-PL.F.OBL ...in tear-PL.F.DIR 

wi ce mung da sandera-0 

be.AOR.PRS.3PL.F COMP 1PL.STR.DIR this.DIR song-F.DIR 

0-way-o 

CONT-say.PRS-IPL 

‘Sometimes we get teary-eyed when we sing this song.’ 

The customary usage of the present aorist can also be expressed with the present 
continuous: 

(8.41) . aal jj ^dS*" *ld 

kala kala zmung tar mandz-0 lahfzi sxara-0 

when when 1PL.STR.POSS up.to center-M.OBL oral dispute-F.DIR 

ham mandz ta radz-i 

also center to come.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.F] 

‘Sometimes we argue, too. [lit. Sometimes verbal disputes are created between 
us, too.]’ 

(8.42) cars-0 liya afin-0 e dzon-0 sara 

marijuana-M.DIR or opium-M.DIR INSTR... self-M.OBL ...INSTR 

pat ksedz-i 

hidden AOR\place.PRS-lPL 

‘They [often] hide marijuana or opium on themselves’ ( waz) 

(8.43) aj 

za pa xanda-0 s-am 

1SG.STR.DIR INSTR laugh-F.OBL become.AOR.PRS-lSG 

‘Should I laugh?’ cm 


18 The glossing of /bagra-0/ as ‘manual.harvest’ is uncertain. 



Verb usage 


279 


(8.44) ce e polis-0 na xlos-0 

COMP from... police-M.OBL ...from free-PL.M.DIR 

s-i biya ksen-i aram-0 

become.AOR.PRS-1PL then AOR\sit.PRS-lPL peace-M.DIR 

we-k-i 

AOR-do.PRS-IPL 

‘After getting rid of the police, we sit down and rest.’ ( waz) 

(8.45) kdla ce day yer-0 de se 

when COMP 3PL.STR.DIR fire-M.DIR 2 after 

wa-caw-i ne ce 

AOR-throw-PRS.3 [PL.M] then COMP 

der-bez-iz-i 

2-near-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘When they put the fire after you and they approach you...’ ( dza) 

(8.46) . ^ o^yyc^ — ^ 

xayl-i wisa-0 Id tol-o hewad-uno 

mister-M.OBL Wisa-M.OBL from all-PL.M.OBL country-PL.M.OBL 

wa-yuxt-al ce dd stunz-o sara 

AOR-want.PST-PST.3PL.M COMP COMIT... problem-PL.F.OBL ...COMIT 

muqdbala-0 wa-kr-i 
resistance-M.DIR AOR-do.AOR-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘[Governor] Mr. Wesa wanted all nations to battle [these] issues.’ 

(8.47) ka haya na ras-i no za 

if 3SG.M.STR.DIR NEG come.AOR.PRS-3[SG.M] then l.SG.STR.DIR 

ba wlar-s-am 
WOULD AOR\go-go-lSG 

‘If he does not come, then I will go.’ 


8.5.2.3 Past continuous 

The past continuous is used for continuous or habitual events in the past: 



280 


Verbs 


(8.48) . aJj,df J 4_L* 4j JjJ <_£^ 

sar-i fol-0 pa mela-0 ke 

man-PL.M.DIR all-M.DIR in... picnic-F.DIR ...in 

0-gad-ed-a 

CONT-dance-PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘All the men were dancing at the picnic OR, all the men used to dance at 
picnics.’ 


(8.49) . j! aJj-Ca>- caJj^P a4jb>- a) 

Id dzan-a sard yag-ed-a 

COMIT... self-M.OBL ...COMIT voice-PST-PST.3SG.M 

xand-ed-a aw gad-ed-a 

laugh.PST-PST-PST.3SG.M and dance-PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘He was talking with himself, laughing, and dancing.’ 


(8.50) . j J.J 4j yj y>- ^ y^S^k>- 4j 

pa xlas-o sterg-o ye xob-una 

INSTR open-PL.F.OBL eye-PL.F.OBL 3.WK sleep-PL.M.DIR 

0-lid-al 

CONT-see.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘He was sleeping with his eyes open.’ 

(8.51) 4j xS^yi yj c ajlS~ Ajjjj ^ ^ ^ 

• <J*3 

kala ce ba taliban-o da xadz-o pa 

when COMP WOULD Taliban-PL.M.OBL of woman-PL.F.OBL on 

wrdnde kum-0 gam-0 porta kaw-a no 

before which-M.DIR step-M.DIR above do.CONT-PST.3SG.M then 

tol-e nar-ay ba nar-e 

all-F.OBL world-F.OBL WOULD shout-PL.F.DIR 

0-wah-al-e 

CONT-beat-PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘Whenever the Taliban would take steps against women, the entire world 
would cry out.’ 



Verb usage 


281 


(8.52) pa hay a car-0 ke der-a binga-0 mi 

in... that.DIR affair-F ...in much-F.DIR wealth-F.DIR 1SG.WK 

jor-aw-Sl-a 

built-do.CONT-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘I was making great gains in that business.’ W az) 

(8.53) pa da domra wredz-0 ke ye nd 

in... this.DIR so.much day-F.DIR ...in 3.WK NEG 

mar-kaw-Sl-e 

killed-do.CONT-PST-2SG 

‘All day long, he did not [want to] kill you.’ ( dza) 

(8.54) ce di xwl-a r 0-caw-SI-a 

COMP 3SG.F.STR.OBL mouth-F.DIR 1 CONT-throw-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘When she was taking me in her mouth [lit. when she threw her mouth upon 

me]. ’ (dza) 


8.5.2.4 Past aorist 

The past aorist verb form expresses actions with focus on completion, or on the event 
per se rather than its duration or multiple instances of the event. 


(8.55) jj apOjj aL>I aJ ^ jj] 




da britanya-0 hakumat-0 parun da iran-0 da 

of Britain-F.OBL government-M.DIR yesterday of Iran-M.OBL of 


atomi program-0 la amal-a par daya hewad-0 

atomic program-M.OBL from sake-M.ABL on this country-M 

nuw-i bandiz-una wS-lagaw-al 

new-PL.M.DIR sanction-PL.M.DIR AOR-hit-PST.3PL.M 


‘Yesterday the British government placed new sanctions on Iran in response to 
their nuclear program.’ 



282 


Verbs 


(8.56) ,y< a ys jy jl ^Jy- c£ 

sar-ay pa xpdl-0 dzay-0 kxenast-0 aw nor ham 

man-M.DIR on own-M place-M AOR\sit-PST.3SG.M aw other also 

yosa so-0 

angry become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘The gentleman took his seat but was angry.’ 

(8.57) . Ajy~ a^j ^ Ajw« 

mina-0 me pat-a kar-l-a 

love-M.DIR 1SG.WK hidden-F.DIR do.AOR-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘I hid my affection.’ 

(8.58) ‘jf d Ojj(j yljlJJj 2 

dd afyan zindan-iano da xlasun-0 la 

of Afghan prisoner-PL.M.ANIM.OBL of release-M.OBL from 

par-a bayran mest-o afyan-ano laryun-0 

sake-M.ABL Bayern settled-PL.M.OBL Afghan-PL.M.OBL protest-M.DIR 

wa-lcar-0 

A0R-do.A0R-PST.3SG.M 

‘Afghans living in Bayern [Germany] protested for the release of Afghan 
prisoners.’ 

(8.59) e sazkol-0 silab-0 tsa naqsan-0 

of this.year-M.OBL flood-M.DIR what damage-M.DIR 

dark-a 

give.A0R.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Did the flooding cause any damage this year?’ ( wa Z) 

(8.60) ye sar-0 na d-wet-0 da ye 

from... city-M.OBL ...from A0R-leave.PST-PST.3SG.M this.DIR of 

top-i pa sar-0 na bya wer-ta kenost-0 

hill-F.OBL on... head-M ...on the 3-to AOR\sit.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘He has left the town to go wait at the top of the hill, sitting near it.’ cdza) 



Verb usage 


283 


(8.61) ce yenana pa dam-0 ke wa-lg-ed-a 

COMP inside in... threshold-F.DIR ...in AOR-hit-PST-PST.3SG.M 

ca yenana wer-nanawet-0 

when inside 3-AOR\enter.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘He landed on the inside, at the entrance. He penetrated the interior.’ ( dza) 

(8.62) a kisa-0 ye mo pa da ywaz-0 

this story-F.DIR of 1SG.STR.0BL on this.DIR ear-M 

nenawet-a 

AOR\enter.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘This story fell into my ear.’ (DZA) 


8.5.2.5 Imperative 

Imperative forms convey commands (Section 8.3.5; Section 8.3.6). 

(8.63) . > LjM ajJ ^ 

la war-a kor-a radz-a loy-0 

from small-M.OBL house-M.ABL come.CONT.PRS-IMP.SG big-M.OBL 

jahan-0 sara asna s-a 

universe-M.OBL COMIT friend become.AOR.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Step outside your comfort zone and get to know the wide world out there.’ 

(8.64) aAa Lj a5 

ta biya haya zulm-una dkrar-aw-al-0 

2SG.STR.DIR then this.DIR abuse-PL.M.DIR repeated-do-INF-PL.M.DIR 

0-ywar-e rdy-0 s-ay 

CONT-want.PRS-2SG healthy-M.DIR become.AOR.PRS-IMP.PL 

‘You want to repeat those horrors? Get a clue!’ 

(8.65) . .4^> aayi 

der-a der-a manana-0 nor-e vidio-gane 

many-F.DIR many-F.DIR thanks-F.DIR other-PL.F.DIR video-PL.F.DIR 

ham w-acaw-a 

also AOR-throw-IMP.SG 

‘Thanks a lot. Please post more videos.’ 



284 


Verbs 


(8.66) . A^ljj ^ 

seb-e me pregd-a ce xa 

moment-PL.F.DIR 1SG.WK AOR\abandon-IMP.SG COMP good 

wa-zar-ama 
AOR-cry-lSG 

‘Leave me alone for a little bit so I can have a good cry.’ 

(8.67) . ifj ajjj 1^5 aJ jaW? 

xpdl-0 zaher-0 ta 

own-M.DIR appearance-M.OBL to 

wa-kr-a 

AOR-do.AOR-IMP.SG 
‘Pay full attention to how you look.’ 

(8.68) . if f ^ «JJ Aj 4 tfj ^ Jit- ^ aT 

ka be be aql-i ye wa-kr-a 

if without without intelligence-F.DIR 3.WK AOR-do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

pa yaw-a marm-ay ye ardm-0 kr-a 

COMIT one-F.DIR bullet-F.DIR 3.WK calm-M.DIR do.AOR-IMP.SG 

‘If he does anything stupid, calm him with a single shot, [i.e., kill him]’ 

(8.69) dase nim-a genta-0 ra-sara ksen-ay 

such half-F.DIR hour-F.DIR 1-with AOR\sit.PRS-IMP.PL 

‘Sit with me, like so, for half an hour.’ (WAZ) 

(8.70) sa waxt-0 kam-0 day mo ta 

good time-M.DIR little-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 1SG.STR.0BL to 

ijaza-0 rok-a 

permission-M.DIR give.AOR.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Okay. Time is short. Let me leave now.’ (WAZ) 

(8.71) mo ta nan-e wa-k-e 

1SG.STR.0BL for popcorn-PL.F.DIR A0R-do.PRS-2SG 

‘Make me some popcorn!’ (DZA) 

Present continuous stems may be used to form commands as well, thus intensify¬ 
ing them, imparting a sense of urgency, continuation, or repetition: 


de pura pam-0 

2.WK complete attention-M.DIR 



Verb usage 


285 


(8.72) .aSJ &XuO i. i. 4j ! 3 

paxto-0 0-way-a paxto-0 

Pashto-F.DIR CONT-tell.PRS-IMP.SG Pashto-F.DIR 

0-lwal-a paxto-0 0-lik-a 

CONT-read.PRS-IMP.SG Pashto-F.DIR CONT-write-IMP.SG 

‘Keep speaking Pashto, reading Pashto, and writing Pashto.’ 

(8.73) . ^ 

har-a oradz-0 log log do xwax-e pd dod-ay 

every-F.DIR day-F.DIR few few of mother.in.law-F.OBL in... food-F 

ke 0-acaw-a 

...in CONT-throw-IMP.SG 

‘Add a little bit [of poison] to your mother-in-law's food every day.’ 


(8.74) . sj_p- 

po xwax-e de 0-xor-a 

INSTR mother.in.law-F 2.WK CONT-eat.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Get your mother-in-law to eat [it].’ 

(8.75) 2 nji oUj?- ta hjS' ^L 

pam-0 kaw-a da jumat-0 

attention-M.DIR do.CONT-IMP.SG this.DIR mosque-M.DIR 

day dd xuday kor-0 day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M of God house-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Behave yourself! This is a mosque; it's a holy place.’ 


(8.76) . aaJJjJ aJ j] AjJj y Aj 

pd lasgun-o xaldk-0 0-wazn-a aw 

INSTR dozen-PL.M.OBL people-M.DIR CONT-kill.PRS-IMP.SG and 

Id zwand-a ye xlas-aw-a 

from life-M.ABL 3.WK freed-do.CONT-IMP.SG 

‘Kill dozens of people and release them from this life.’ 

(8.77) sarkor-0 ta ajiz-i kaw-a 

government-M.OBL to helpless-NMLZ do.CONT-IMP.SG 

‘Humbly submit to the government!’ (WAZ) 



286 


Verbs 


All types of commands, whether using continuous or aorist forms, are negated 
by <o» /ma/, which usually occurs before the verb but can also be after it. Negative 
commands almost always use continuous forms, except in certain stock phrases like 
8.78. 

(8.78) ! 4_d> <03 aiL* 

sada ma s-a 

naive NEG become.PRS.AOR-IMP.SG 
‘Don't be naive!’ 


(8.79) !aJJj <0s ajb 3 i <Ojj 

zoy-a dd bel-0 da par-a dzan-0 ma 

son-M.VOC of other-M.OBL from sake-M.ABL self-M.DIR NEG 

0-wazn-a 

CONT-kill.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Son, don't kill yourself for the sake of another!’ 

(8.80) . ai^jjj <o> <G jlS*" - J 2 

da nan kar-0 saba-0 ta ma 

of today work-M.DIR tomorrow-M.DIR to NEG 

pregd-a 

CONT\abandon.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ 

(8.81) ! a ^ <0s <lLa ^ ^ 

da bel-0 ca tsaxa da manan-e hila-0 

from... other-M.OBL who.OBL ...from of thanks-F.OBL hope-F.DIR 

ma kaw-a 

NEG do.CONT-IMP.SG 

‘Don't expect thanks from someone else!’ 

(8.82) . byJz <Oa*- <o> c Ij aS"" 

ka ta na pezan-i ma xapa 

if 2SG.STR.DIR NEG A0R\recognize.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] NEG sad 

keg-a 

become.CONT.PRS-IMP.SG 


‘Don't get upset if he doesn't recognize you.’ 



Verb usage 


287 


8.5.3 Compound constructions: perfect 

Agreement in present and past perfect constructions is governed by the main verb. This 
means that in transitive constructions the main verb, the auxiliary, and—in the case 
of third conjugation verbs—the adjectival complement agree with the undergoer of the 
action, as can be seen in the sentences below. Perfect constructions in Pashto encode 
relative tense, and are generally best translated using the respective English present 
and past perfect forms, as can be seen in the example sentences in the following two 
sections. 


8.5.3.1 Present perfect 

First and second conjugation verbs form this tense with the past continuous partici¬ 
ple and the present continuous of to be, as illustrated above in Section 8.4.I.I. Third 
conjugation verbs use the aorist participle and the present continuous forms of to be. 

(8.83) .(ji jjj J Ob^oUil 

afyanistan-0 ke zim-i zor-0 

Afghanistan-M in winter-M.OBL force-M.DIR 

0-axist-ay day 

CONT-take [PST] -PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Winter has taken hold in Afghanistan.’ 

(8.84) . 0 ^ ^ 

taliban-o po qatar-0 ke do siyasi daftar-0 do 

Taliban-PL.M.OBL in... Qatar-M ...in of political office-M.OBL of 

pranist-ol-o xabara-0 0-man-Sl-e 

open-INF-PL.M.OBL word-F.DIR CONT-accept-PST-PTCP.F.DIR 

da 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘The Taliban have confirmed that they will be opening a political office in 
Qatar.’ 

(8.85) y JiA LijJ 

dunya-0 0-man-Sl-ay ye 

world-F.OBL CONT-accept-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.2SG 

‘The world has accepted you.’ 



288 


Verbs 


(8.86) c—jp- jj Aj" ^.. /3a (_$i (j^jl 

os de faysal-e ta ras-ed-al-ay 

now this.OBL decision-F.OBL to arrive-PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

yam ce tarjuma-0 kaw-al-0 

be.CONT.PRS.lSG COMP translation-F.DIR do-INF-PL.M.DIR 

ayb-0 nd day 

defect-M.DIR NEG be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘I've finally come to the conclusion that doing translations isn't so bad.’ 

(8.87) !ls*» Aj Uj ta jl jvj Ji “H s j 

za pa yaw xali kor-0 ki 

1SG.STR.DIR in... one empty house-M ...in 

nanawat-al-e yam aw os da 

CONT\enter-PST-PTCP.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG and now this.DIR 

zma kor-0 day nd sta 

1SG.STR.POSS house-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M NEG 2SG.STR.POSS 

‘I've entered an empty house, and now it's mine and not yours!’ 

(8.88) . 2A L) Aj IjjJj F ^ 

dwar-o da difah-0 wazir-ano pa 

both-PL.M.OBL of defense-F.OBL minister-PL.M.ANIM.OBL in... 

afyanistdn-0 kxe da paudz-0 starya-0 ihsas 

Afghanistan-M ...in of force-M.OBL exhaustion-F.DIR feeling 

kar-e da 

do.AOR-PTCP.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Both Defense Ministers have seen how exhausted troops in Afghanistan are.’ 


(8.89) -lS/j e-s'j ij? «-5 (_sJ ^y-jj 

zaryona-0 ye os majbur-a kar-e 

Zarghoona-F.DIR 3.WK now forced-F.DIR do.AOR-PTCP.F.DIR 

da ce wad-a wa-kr-i 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F COMP marriage-M.DIR AOR-do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Now he's forced Zarghuna to get married.’ 



Verb usage 


289 


(8.90) . JaJp U jj b 

ta par ma bande yalat filor-0 

2SG.STR.OBL on... 1SG.STR.0BL ...on mistaken thought-M.DIR 

kar-ay day 

do.AOR-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘You've got me all wrong.’ 

The modal particles aj /bo/ or ijz /de/ in combination with the present perfect 
construction express a supposition about a future event, as in 8.91, 8.92, and 8.93, or 
doubt or uncertainty about one, as in 8.94. Because of the irrealis semantics of this 
construction, the present aorist form <_sj /wi/ is used as the third person auxiliary. 

(8.91) . <_Sj Jjj JJJ J ^ AJ pA ^3- ijj (£_f ^ Aj pA 

ham ba ye gata-0 kar-e 

also WOULD 3.WK benefit-F.DIR do.AOR-PTCP.F.DIR 

wi dzaka ce ham ba ye xpal-0 

be.AOR.PRS.3SG.F because COMP also WOULD 3.WK own-M.DIR 

tarbur-0 0-waz-al-ay wi 

cousin-M.DIR CONT-kill-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M 

‘He will also have benefited because he will have killed his cousin.’ 

(8.92) * 1 ^ I ^ ^ Aj ^P' ^ 

da swat-0 yayr tamadun-o paxtan-o 

of Swat-M.OBL without civilization-PL.M.OBL Pashtoon-PL.M.OBL 

ba da taliban-o noy-i 

WOULD of Taliban-PL.M.OBL mark-PL.M.DIR 

0-ist-al-i wi 

CONT-remove.PST-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3PL.M 

‘Those heathen Pashtoons in Swat will have eradicated any trace of the 
Taliban.’ 

(8.93) -tSj Aj sJj>- Sjiiy 

tar der-a had-a ba mo stunza-0 

up.to very-M.ABL border-M.ABL WOULD 1PL.WK problem-F.DIR 

hal kar-e wi 

solution do.AOR-PTCP.F.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3SG.F 

‘We will have more or less resolved the issue.’ 



290 


Verbs 


(8.94) . jvJ ^-VJ a j 4j aAa 

/rays ha 23 0-lid-al-ay 

3SG.STR.OBL WOULD 1SG.STR.DIR CONT-see.PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

yam 

be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘He may have seen me.’ (S w) 


8.5.3.2 Past perfect 

As with the present perfect, in this construction, first and second conjugation verbs 
employ the past continuous participle, and third conjugation verbs employ the aorist 
participle. All use the past continuous of to be as the auxiliary. (See Section 8.4.1.2.) 

(8.95) . to *J~ jji-lj «j 

23 rdyl-am dzaka ce ta 

1SG.STR.DIR come.PST.AOR-lSG because COMP 2SG.STR.OBL 

0-bal-al-ay warn 

CONT-invite-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.lSG 

‘I came because you had invited me.’ 

(8.96) . jJ ^ ajj 4j i ^ aji 

dwa kis-e xo me ye da max-a pa 

two story-PL.F.DIR EMPH 1SG.WK 3.WK from face-M.ABL in... 

yaw-a mujala-0 ke 0-lwust-e 

one-F.DIR magazine-F.DIR ...in CONT-read.PST-PTCP.PL.F.DIR 

we 

be.CONT.PST.3PL.F 

‘I had previously read two stories of his in a magazine.’ 

(8.97) .j jj y> i d> y. I _ r ^ <0 

pa fesbuk-0 ke ye da mamst-e yaw peyam-0 

in... Facebook-M ...in 3.WK of help-F.OBL one message-M.DIR 

prexud-al-ay wa 

CONT\leave-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.M 

‘She had posted a message on Facebook asking for help.’ 



Verb usage 


291 


(8.98) . <S* y^*>- i_£^ 

de dzayast-o dur-e jor-e 

this.OBL run-PL.M.OBL sand.storm-PL.F.DIR built-PL.F.DIR 

kar-e we 

do.AOR-PTCP.PL.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.F 

‘Their steps had given rise to sandstorms.’ 

zmung dimokrat-ano dost-ano dwa 

1PL.STR.P0SS democrat-PL.M.ANIM.OBL friend-PL.M.ANIM.OBL two 

kal-a pa xwa-0 bodija-0 taswib-0 

year-M.OBL on side-F budget-F.DIR approval-M.DIR 

kar-ay wa 

do.AOR-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.M 

‘Our friends the Democrats had passed a budget two years ago.’ 

(8.100) . jj ^ ^ iSji i cJji 

dawlat-0 ham dd duy sara dd pam 

government-M.OBL also COMIT... 3PL.STR.OBL ...COMIT of attention 

war marast-e kar-e we 

worthy help-PL.F.DIR do.AOR-PTCP.PL.F.DIR be.CONT.PST.3PL.F 

‘The government had also helped them significantly.’ 

8.5.3.3 Negation of perfect tenses 

When compound tenses are negated, the negative particle a; /na/ immediately pre¬ 
cedes the auxiliary verb and forms a constituent phrase with it. With first and second 
conjugation verbs, the participle can occur before this negated verb phrase, as in 8.101 
and 8.103, or after it, as in 8.102 and 8.104. Likewise, in perfect constructions with third 
conjugation verbs, the light verb construction can occur either before the negated verb 
phrase, as in 8.105 and 8.106, or after it, as in 8.107. 

(8.101) . Aj J_wuj aJ (JjAA jJ . A^JjjS” (J jA 

mazal-0 kaw-ama tar manzil-0 la 

distance-M.DIR do.CONT-lSG up.to encampment-M.OBL yet 

0-ras-ed-al-ay na yam 

CONT-arrive-PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR NEG be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘I'm in transit. I haven't gotten as far as the station.’ 



292 


Verbs 


(8.102) . Aj Aj OUjI APi *)l jj 

far os-a la daya lwar-0 arman-0 ta na 

up.to now-M.ABL yet this.OBL high-M.OBL desire-M.OBL to NEG 

yam 0-ras-ed-al-ay 

be.CONT.PRS.lSG CONT-arrive-PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

‘I still haven't had my dream come true.’ 

(8.103) . j*J A3 Aj jjJ- ^ 

nan ye xabar-o ta prexud-ay na 

today 3.WK word-PL.F.OBL to CONT\permit.PST-PTCP.M.DIR NEG 

yam 

be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘He hasn't let me talk today.’ 

(8.104) Aj ^ 

xuday pak insan-0 pa xpal-0 hal-0 na 

God clean person-M.DIR in own-M condition-M NEG 

day prexud-ay 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M CONT\abandon.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 
‘God hasn't left mankind behind.’ 

(8.105) . Aj ^£ -GjIj ^ 

da taliban-o ida-gane nor-o sarcin-o 

of Taliban-PL.M.OBL claim-PL.F.DIR other-PL.F.OBL source-PL.F.OBL 

tayid kar-e na di 

confirmation do.AOR-PTCP.PL.F.DIR NEG be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘Other sources haven't confirmed the Taliban's assertions.’ 

(8.106) . a j Aj a JJ ^ yy*j 

zmung masibat-0 dzapal-i walas-0 da 

1PL.STR.POSS disaster-M.DIR torn-PTCP.M.DIR people-M.OBL this.DIR 

oradz-0 hir-a kar-e na 

day-F.DIR forgotten-F.DIR do.AOR-PTCP.F.DIR NEG 

wa 

be.CONT.PST.3SG.F 

‘Our war-torn nation hadn't forgotten that day.’ 



Verb usage 


293 


(8.107) • iS^ J O^-aapo aj ^>0 

paxwa me hits kala pd daysan falat-0 ke na 

before 1SG.WK none when in... this.same activity-M ...in NEG 

day gadun-0 kar-ay 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M participation-M.DIR do.AOR-PTCP.M.DIR 

‘I've never done this type of thing before.’ 


8.5.4 Compound constructions: potential 

Optative verb forms are used in a construction with aorist forms of the verb J Jjf 
/kedal/ ‘to become’ to express potential. These verbs are sometimes analyzed as par¬ 
ticiples in these constructions (Tegey & Robson, 1996:146), but unlike participles, they 
do not take agreement suffixes, and should therefore be regarded as optatives. See Sec¬ 
tion 8.3.7 and Section 8.3.8 for the formation of optative verbs. 


8.5.4.1 Expressing potential present events 

The present tense of the potentiality construction is formed with the present optative 
form of the matrix verb and the present aorist form of J-Lif /kedal/ ‘to become’: 

(8.108) eS'KJ pA N Jai 

nizar-0 me la kar-0 kaw-i aw la 

sight-M.DIR 1SG.WK still work-M.DIR do.C0NT-PRS.3[SG.M] and still 

ham 0-lik-al-ay s-am 

also CONT-write-PST-OPT become.AOR.PRS-lSG 


‘My vision still works and I can still write.’ 



294 


Verbs 


(8.109) |Aj LcJ*j y^ j! ^ y ajj^P “V; Aj ^jjs 0 

• (^ 5 ““ ^S^^y-yj. 

taso dd xpdl-0 telefun-0 smira-0 

2PL.STR.DIR of own-M.OBL telephone-M.OBL number-F.DIR 

mung ta pd yagiz-a toga-0 aw dd brixna 

1PL.STR.OBL to INSTR vocal-F.DIR manner-F.DIR and of electricity 

lik-0 pd dawal-0 ham prexud-Sl-ay 

letter-M.OBL INSTR manner-M also CONT\leave-PST-OPT 

s-ay 

become.AOR.PRS-2PL 

‘You can also leave us your telephone number over the phone or by email.’ 

(8.110) . yt» ^ Aj AjLi^jJ Aj jyA 

mung pd yat-a pemana-0 xalk-o ta 

1PL.STR.DIR INSTR large-F.DIR measure-F.DIR people-PL.M.OBL to 

din-0 xapar-aw-dl-ay s-u 

religion-M.DIR spread-do.CONT-PST-OPT become.AOR.PRS-IPL 

‘We can proselytize on a large scale.’ 


8.5.4.2 Expressing potential past events 

The past tense of the potentiality construction is formed from the optative forms of the 
matrix verb and past aorist forms of J-Lif /kedal/ ‘to become’. The aorist optative is 
used for an event that was actually carried out: 

(8.111) yZ> ^ jJ AxU Aj 

ta hdlta pdr waxt-0 wo-ras-ed-dl-ay 

2SG.STR.DIR there on time-M.DIR AOR-arrive-PST-PST-OPT 

sw-e 

become.AOR.PST-2SG 

‘Were you able to get there on time?’ 

If the continuous optative is used in this construction, the connotation is that the 
event either did not take place, translatable into English with might (Tegey & Robson, 
1996:148), or was carried out over an extended period of time in the past: 



Verb usage 


295 


( 8 . 112 ) Jf j\^>- ASJL& 0j3 jj 

mung tera hafta jwar-0 0-kar-al-ay 

1PL.STR.0BL last week corn-M CONT-plant-PST-OPT 

sw-a 

become. AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘We might have been able to plant the corn last week [if you had brought the 
seeds].’ 

(8.113) . j^J-bJ ji jjJj3 jSOj- J 

da xatiz-0 jermani-0 xalk-o da lowediz-0 

of east-M.OBL Germany-M.OBL people-PL.M.OBL of west-M.OBL 

berlirt-0 ... televizyoni program-una 0-lid-al-ay 

Berlin-M.OBL ... televised program-PL.M.DIR CONT-see.PST-PST-OPT 

sw-al 

become. AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘People in East Germany were able to watch TV shows from West Berlin.’ 


(8.114) . o a} 


afyan-ano la mung sara der-a 

Afghan-PL.M.ANIM.OBL COMIT... 1PL.STR.OBL ...COMIT very-F.DIR 


lag-a marasta-0 kaw-al-ay sw-a 

little-F.DIR help-F.DIR do.CONT-PST-OPT become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.F 


‘The Afghans were able to help us very little [as they were busy with their 
own armed conflict].’ 


S.5.4.3 Expressing potential future events 

Potential future events are expressed using the modal clitic aj /ba/, either a continuous 
or an aorist optative form of the matrix verb, and present aorist forms of J-bif /kedal/ 
‘to become’. Using the aorist optative implies that the event is expected by the speaker 
to take place (Tegey & Robson, 1996:146). 



296 


Verbs 


(8.115) . J ‘VwlS' Obr^olxil 2 4j l£j^ ^ Jj^~ ^ 

dd xabar-o Id lar-e hd dd afydnistdn-0 

of word-PL.F.OBL from side-F.OBL WOULD of Afghanistan-M.OBL 

las kaldn-a jagra-0 pay-0 ta wS-rasaw-dl-ay 

ten year.old-F.DIR war-F.DIR end-M.OBL to AOR-arrive-PST-OPT 

s-i 

become. AOR.PRS-PRS.3 [PL.M] 

‘With diplomacy, [they]'ll be able to end the 10 year-old war in Afghanistan.’ 

(8.116) . iyyjy jLj a _/ , J' 5 lFj- 5 a - : 

xalk-o da 0-gan-dl-e 

people-PL.M.OBL this.DIR CONT-consider-PST-PTCP.F.DIR 

da ce duy bd yawaze pd 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F COMP 3PL.STR.DIR WOULD only INSTR 

dumra way-dl-o prexud-al-ay 

so.much say-INF-PL.M.OBL AOR\permit-PST-OPT 

s-i 

become. AOR.PRS-PRS.3 [PL.M] 

‘People thought that they would be allowed to pass only by talking enough 
[to convince us].’ 

(8.117) . l_£lailiXvd y jjJ j£- y 4j 

pd land-0 dawal-0 lik-dl suw-ay 

INSTR short-M manner-M write-INF become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

far tso tol-0 Iwustunk-i tre istafada-0 

up.to some all-PL.M.DIR reader-PL.M.DIR up.to.3 usage-F.DIR 

wa-kr-ay s-i 

AOR-do.AOR-OPT become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘[The articles] have been written concisely so that all readers are able to make 
use of them.’ 



Verb usage 


297 


(8.118) t^\£ <_£:/ j3 J dy aj aj L$\jyji~» ^JjU 

aya vralas maser-0 karz-ay ha pa doham-0 bon 

Q people leader-M.DIR Karzai-M.DIR WOULD in... second-M Bonn 

konferans-0 ke warkr-i tazmin-una 

conference-M ...in give.AOR-PTCRPL.M.DIR guarantee-PL.M.DIR 

amali kr-ay s-i 

implemented do.AOR-OPT become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Will President Karzai be able to implement the assurances he made at the 
Second Bonn Conference?’ 

If the continuous optative is used in this construction with the future particle, the 
connotation is that the action is not necessarily probable, translatable into English 
with might (Tegey & Robson, 1996:148). 

(8.119) . Aj uSIJ Aj 

layla-0 ba lik-0 saba-0 ta 

Layla-F.DIR WOULD letter-M.DIR tomorrow-F.DIR on 

0-leg-al-ay s-i 

CONT-send-PST-OPT become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3SG.F 
‘Layla might be able to send the letter tomorrow.’ om 

(8.120) . jff jl5*" Aj Aj Aj 

ta ba pa hamde moxa-0 kar-0 

2SG.STR.DIR WOULD on this.same goal-F.DIR work-M.DIR 

kaw-al-ay s-e 

do.CONT-PST-OPT become.AOR.PRS-2SG 

‘You may be able to work on [achieving] this same goal.’ 

(8.121) ^ y. <jy a^J Jj 

bel-0 tsok na sta ce dase yaw say-0 

other-M.DIR who.DIR NEG EXT COMP such one thing-M.DIR 

jor-aw-al-ay wa-s-i 

built-do.CONT-PST-OPT AOR-become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘There's no one else who could build such a thing.’ 

The following two sentences suggest that either a continuous or an aorist optative 
can be used to express an a repeated event with future time reference: 



298 


Verbs 


(8.122) . ^SCIj Ajjj iSy yz^ ^ a) y>- jj 

tar tso xaldk-0 Id kum-e stunz-e prata 

up.to some people-M.DIR from which-F.OBL problem-F.OBL without 

tag ratag-0 kaw-Sl-ay 
go come-M.DIR do.CONT-PST-OPT 

wa-s-i 

AOR-become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘So that the people can come and go without issue.’ 

(8.123) 4j 
• LS~* 

nato-0 de marakic-ian taliban-0 

NATO-M.DIR NEC representative-PL.M.ANIM.DIR Taliban-PL.M.DIR 

pregd-i ce pa xlas-a pxa-0 tag 

AOR\permit-PRS.3 [SG.M] COMP INSTR open-F.DIR foot-F.DIR go 

ratag-0 wS-lcaw-dl-ay s-i 

come-M.DIR AOR-do-PST-OPT become.AOR.PRS-PRS .3[PL.M] 

‘NATO should allow the Taliban delegates to be able to come and go as they 
please.’ 


8.5.4.4 Negative 

The negative particle must precede the auxiliary verb in a potential construction, but 
the optative form may come before or after the negated verb phrase (Tegey & Robson, 
1996:145-147): 

(8.124) . jZo 4j ~ y 

tdr os-a me xpdl-0 aw dd plar-0 

up.to now-M.ABL 1SG.WK own-M.DIR and of father-M.OBL 

num-0 na so-0 0-lik-Sl-ay 

name-M.DIR NEG become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M CONT-write-PST-OPT 

‘Until now, I wasn't able to write either my name or my father's.’ 



Verb usage 


299 


(8.125) .4j>- 

qalam-0 ka mat-0 s-i tsd 

pen-M.DIR if broken-M.DIR become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] what 

0-lik-al-ay na s-u 

CONT-write-PST-OPT NEG become.AOR.PRS-IPL 

‘You can't write anything with a broken pen.’ 

(8.126) . 4j C)[£- 

dzan-0 me na so-0 

self-M.DIR 1SG.WK NEG become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

ting-aw-Sl-ay 

tight-do.CONT-PST-OPT 

‘I couldn't pull myself together.’ 

(8.127) !! !^1 ^ ^>- ^ fljl 4j \\\ ) ^ JjIS" - 

dd kabul-0 pohdntun-0 dd 9 11 pa ara-0 

of Kabul university-M.OBL of 9 11 on topic-F.DIR 

kum-0 simpoziyom-0 jor-0 na 

which-PL.M.DIR seminar-M.DIR built-M.DIR NEG 

so-0 kr-ay 

become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M do.AOR-OPT 

‘The University of Kabul wasn't able to offer any seminars on 9-11!!!’ 

(8.128) y* ^ y\j£\$ J 4j 

pa konar-0 ke daktar-ano sam-0 

in... Kunar-M ...in doctor-PL.M.ANIM.OBL correct-M.DIR 

tasxis-0 wa-nS so-0 kr-ay 

diagnosis-M.DIR AOR-NEG become.AOR.PST do.AOR-OPT 

‘The doctors in Kunar couldn't give a correct diagnosis.’ 


8.5.5 Infinitives 
8.5.5.1 Infinitives as nouns 

Infinitives show the default masculine plural agreement (see Section 11.4.3 and Section 
11.7.5); non-direct forms take the j. /-o/ oblique/ablative plural suffix used on declen¬ 
sion Class II nouns (see Section 5.2.4), as in 8.129. Like other event nominals, infinitives 



300 


Verbs 


may take their own complements. Infinitival phrases may serve as a subject, object, or 
object of an adposition. 

(8.129) . l$~ jji \j aJ U 

ma Id radyo-0 tsaxa dd hakumat-0 dd 

1SG.STR.OBL from... radio-F.OBL ...from of government-M.OBL of 

marast-e kaw-al-o xabar-e w-arw-ed-e 

help-PL.F.DIR do-INF-PL.M.OBL word-PL.F.DIR AOR-hear.PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘I heard on the radio about the government's helping out.’ 

(8.130) jjU- ci'hjlj ajU i U 

ayd dd zukam-0 Id par-a tiyarak-0 

Q of head.cold-M.OBL from sake-M.ABL opium-M.DIR 

xor-al-0 jayiz-0 di 

eat-INF-PL.M.DIR legal-PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘Is it legal to take opium for a head-cold?’ 

(8.131) . ^ acJji - aJJi i 

dd madani tolan-e danda-0 dd dawlat-0 

of civilized society-F.OBL job-F.DIR COMIT... government-M.OBL 

sara marasta-0 kaw-al-0 di 

...COMIT help-F.DIR do-INF-PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘Helping the government is a duty in an advanced society.’ 


8.5.5.2 The periphrastic passive 

As described in Section 8.2.5.5.2, infinitives and past participles can be used as the 
nominal component of a third conjugation verb with J-Lif /kedal/ to form a verbal 
construction that is often referred to as the Pashto passive. Both infinitival and par¬ 
ticipial complements of j-LS" /kedal/ can optionally have the aorist prefix.j /wa-/in 
aorist forms of this construction, in addition to an aorist form of J-Lif /kedal/, as in 
8.132, 8.133, and 8.135. 



Verb usage 


301 


(8.132) . ^ ( _ s S'3jj ^ V 1 (Syf J-4 

xa bal-al keg-i ce 

good consider-INF become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] COMP 

mana-0 Id potdk-i sara wa-xor-al-a 

apple-F.DIR COMIT... skin-M.OBL ...COMIT AOR-eat-INF-F.DIR 

s-i 

become. AOR.PRS-PRS.3 [SG.F] 

‘It is considered good to eat an apple along with its peel.’ 

(8.133) >r i J/j 

wa-tar-al s-dm 

AOR-tie-INF become.AOR.PRS-1SG 

‘[that] I be tied’ 

(8.134) 

0-tar-dl keg-am 

CONT-tie-INF become.CONT.PRS-lSG 

‘I am being tied.’ 

(8.135) . r (J)^ J/j 

wa-tar-al sw(al)-am 

AOR-tie-INF become.AOR.PST-1SG 

‘I was tied.’ 

(8.136) .f(J)JLT J^ 

0-tar-al ked(al)-am 

CONT-tie-INF become.CONT.PST-lSG 

‘I was being tied.’ 

The prefix _j /wo-/ is not obligatory, however: 

(8.137) . Jj-i Jjj Y • • -b4 j 

pa brid-0 Joce 200 tan-a waz-al 

in... attack-M ...in 200 person-PL.M.DIR kill-INF 

sw-al 

become. AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘Two hundred people were killed in the attack.’ 



302 


Verbs 


If a participle rather than an infinitive is used, it agrees with the undergoer, as can 
be seen in examples 8.138 - 8.142. In Dzadrani, however, the participle does not show 
agreement but remains masculine direct regardless of the gender and number of the 
subject, as in 8.143 and 8.144: 

(8.138) . iSjf lS* 

day 0-wah-M-ay 

3SG.M.STR.DIR CONT-beat-PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

keg-i 

become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘He is being beaten.’ 

(8.139) Jbkjlj 

da 0-wah-dl-e keg-i 

3SG.F.STR.DIR CONT-beat-PST-PTCP.F.DIR become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 
‘She is being beaten.’ 

(8.140) S' 

duy 0-wah-dl-i 

3PL.STR.DIR CONT-beat-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

keg-i 

become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘They are being beaten.’ 

(8.141) de sten-e pa sim-0 ob-e nd 

of needle-SG.F.OBL INSTR eye-M water-PL.F.DIR NEG 

0-mind-e kez-i 

CONT-find.PST-PTCP.PL.F.DIR become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.F] 

‘Not a needle's eyeful of water is [to be] found.’ cwaz-u 

(8.142) ps-e ye wa wa-tik-al-e 

feet-PL.F.DIR 3.WK WOULD AOR-injure-INF-PTCP.PL.F.DIR 

0-s-i 

CONT-become.PRS-PRS.3[PL.F] 

‘His feet will be injured.’ ( waz) 



Verb usage 


303 


(8.143) dandera-0 o-wa-l-ay 0-sw-a 

drum-F.DIR AOR-beat-INF-PTCP.M.DIR CONT-become.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘A drum was struck (DZA) 

(8.144) ddnder-e o-wa-l-ay 

drum-PL.F.DIR AOR-beat-INF-PTCP.M.DIR 

0-sw-e 

CONT-become.PST-PST.3PL.F 
‘Drums were struck.’ (DZA) 

For more example sentences using the periphrastic passive, see Section 11.3.1.5. 


8.5.6 Present participles 

Present participles can be used to modify nouns, as in: 

(8.145) . iS_f iSjijf\*j** 

europay-i tuldn-a bayad dd 0-xlas-unk-i 

Europe-ADJZ society-F.DIR NEC of CONT-liberate-PTCP-SG.M.OBL 

sawda-gar-iz-e taglar-e ywara 

business-NMLZ-ADJZ-PL.F.DIR policy-PL.F.DIR considered 

kr-i 

do.AOR-PRS.3SG.F 

‘The European Union must consider commercial rescue policies.’ 
or to form a verbal noun: 

(8.146) Jjj jlT aj ^ jl aj * 

dd europay-i tuldn-e 0-kat-unk-i pd 

of Europe-ADJZ society-F.OBL CONT-see-PTCP-SG.M.OBL in... 

ukren-0 ke pd kar-0 paydl-0 

Ukraine-M.OBL ...in on work-M.OBL beginning-M.DIR 

kr-ay 

do.AOR-PTCP.M.DIR 

‘A European Union observer has begun work in the Ukraine.’ 



Claudia M. Brugman 

9 Adpositions 

9.1 Overview 

Pashto exhibits three categories of adposition: prepositions, postpositions, and cir- 
cumpositions. 1 

The class of circumpositions is the most difficult to describe exhaustively, for sev¬ 
eral reasons: 

• First, though for a given variety the inventory of prepositions and postpositions is 
fixed, some circumpositions appear to be semi-productive combinations of prepo¬ 
sitions and postpositions or prepositions and adverbs (as asserted by Babrakzai 
1999). 

• Second, some items that function as circumpositions are complex in one compo¬ 
nent, typically the postpositional component, as is shown in Example 9.74. The post¬ 
positional component in such cases may be a lexicalized meronymic expression. We 
call these phrasal adpositions complex adpositions. 2 

• Finally, there is a set of principles that we understand only in part, which require or 
allow one or the other component of a circumposition to be deleted, rendering the 
effect of independent prepositions or (more typically) postpositions. In this chapter 
we discuss those principles that we understand. 

In the general style of Indo-European, the functions of adpositions in Pashto range 
from quite abstract relationships to very specific spatial, temporal, or causal relation¬ 
ships, and generally the interpretation of any given adposition will depend on the con¬ 
text, as reflected in the glossing or translation. Where two components of a circumpo¬ 
sition together express a single relation, the first component will have an ellipsis (...) 
after the gloss, and the second will have an ellipsis before the gloss. Sentence 9.1 gives 
an example of this glossing convention. 

The Middle dialects vary from General Pashto in the inventory of adpositions, in 
the pronunciation of individual items, and in some case assignments. Much of the de¬ 
scription provided of Middle dialect adpositions originates in Septfonds (1994), 3 which 


1 These items are referred to in other grammars as pre-post-positions (Tegey & Robson, 1996) or 
ambipositions (Heston, 1987). The term circumposition more transparently denotes a single 
discontinuous lexeme; Hewson & Bubenik (2006:109) use this term as well. Throughout this chapter, 
and in the examples throughout this book, attested examples show that Pashto also has 
ambipositions, i.e. adpositions that may occur either before or after their objects. 

2 Circumpositions in Persian, including cognates, are mentioned by Heston (1987), Lazard (1963) 
and Phiiiott (1919). 

3 The translation into English of this work was provided by Melissa Fox. 



306 


Adpositions 


is a description of the Dzadrani dialect; however, example sentences and descriptions 
may reflect other Middle varieties. Our own research suggests the existence of both 
similarities and differences between Dzadrani (as Septfonds describes it) and Waziri, 
as described more briefly by Lorimer (1902: 39-40), but a dearth of information pre¬ 
vents us from making any substantive claims about how they differ from each other. 
Furthermore, it is possible that some of the features noted here for Dzadrani and Waziri 
may be found in varieties of Pashto outside of the Middle dialect group as well. 

Three other points should be remembered about Pashto adpositions: 

• Items that are identified (in this grammar or elsewhere) as adverbs may in fact func¬ 
tion as adpositions. For instance, we identify jj /wrusta/ ‘after, later’ as an ad¬ 
verb in Table 10.1, concurring with other grammars, and based on the fact that from 
our information it only governs an object when it is a component of a complex cir- 
cumposition (see Example 9.120); however, it is possible that there are varieties of 
Pashto that treat it as a simple adposition. Conversely, the item a^ ... /... sara/ is 
identified here primarily as a postpositional component of a circumposition; how¬ 
ever, in its function outlined in Section 10.2.3.1, it does not take even a notional 
object, and is therefore properly classified as an adverb. The same can be said for 
some items identified in this grammar as adverbs of place in Table 10.2. 

• As expected, adpositions in Pashto may govern objects other than noun phrases, in¬ 
cluding strong pronouns and oblique pronominal clitics. In addition, the object in 
an adpositional phrase may be more or less clausal: one possibility is an infinitive 
verb and its local argument, both of which may be case-marked according to the 
requirements of the governing adposition (see 9.72 and 9.73). Many of the subsec¬ 
tions of Section 11.4.4 give examples of different adpositions in construction with 
the complementizer /ca/, where the adposition’s object is a subordinate clause. 
Finally, 9.32 gives an example with a case-marked adjectival object. 

• Some adpositions are subject to dialect-based pronunciation variation as exempli¬ 
fied in Table 4.2. This is in addition to some dialect-based variation in the specific 
combinations of adpositions into complex adpositions or circumpositions. 

• Individual adpositions are often described as clitics; this is reflected in some written 
examples by the lack of space between the adposition and its object. 


9.2 Adpositions and case assignment 

For all varieties of Pashto, adpositions generally govern either oblique or ablative case 
assignment to their objects. However, L. Rzehak (p.c.) suggests that the direct case 
may be becoming the preferred case assignment for some adpositions as well, claim¬ 
ing that the use of the oblique form may sound dated to some speakers. Furthermore, 



Adpositions and case assignment 


307 


the picture is somewhat complicated by several issues: first, sometimes case-marking 
can vary (usually between direct and oblique) without difference in meaning; in other 
situations, however, the difference in case-marking is associated with a difference in 
meaning. In addition, this grammar recognizes an ablative case, where some other 
grammars do not, so descriptions of the same facts may not line up. The ablative case 
is governed by a small number of adpositions; again, however, in some situations ei¬ 
ther ablative or oblique case may appear in construction with a particular adposition. 
Some speakers have reported that vocative case-marking may be assigned; this matter 
deserves more study. 

For Dzadrani in particular, Septfonds (1994) asserts that an adposition may as¬ 
sign direct, oblique, or ablative case to its object when the object is singular in num¬ 
ber; however, when the object is plural, the case assignment is always oblique. Our 
research suggests that Waziri does not observe this constraint: singular or plural ob¬ 
jects of /e/ may be case-marked direct (as shown in example 9.19). Also for Dzadrani, 
Septfonds (1997: 8.3.2) claims that the comparative postposition /tar/ ‘than’ can as¬ 
sign either oblique or direct case to its object. Septfonds (1994: 262) notes further that 
circumpositions whose first component is /ye/ or /tar/ may assign the oblique or the 
ablative case to their objects. 

In Waziri, according to Lorimer (1902: 40), /pa/ ‘on, in’ preferentially assigns di¬ 
rect case but may also assign oblique case. Our own research on Waziri confirms that 
assignment of direct case predominates. 

There may be varieties of Pashto for which oblique is the only case-marking form 
governed by adpositions (as is claimed in, e.g., Dessart 1994: 52). This includes the 
appearance of the fused genitive strong pronoun (see Section 7.2.3) as the object of the 
adposition, as shown in sentence 9.3. 


9.2.1 Assignment of oblique case 

Our research suggests that the object of an adposition is most often assigned the oblique 
case. In particular, the preposition j /tar/ ‘up to’ and circumpositions of which it is 
the prepositional component always assign the oblique case to their objects. 

(9.1) • cSjj ^^-jj ^ 

dd zartsang-i zoy-0 pd farans-e ki 

of Zartsangay-M.OBL son-M.DIR in... France-M.OBL ...in 

0-os-ez-i 

CONT-live-PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 


‘Zartsangay's son lives in France.’ ( swj 



308 — Adpositions 

(9.2) . (_£.5 ^ Aj Ajjjy Uj 

zma not-una pa kitabc-e ke 

1SG.STR.POSS note-PL.M.DIR in... notebook-F.OBL ...in 

di 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘My notes are in the notebook.’ 

(9.3) . ( jj jl flj— ^ Aj a^ U a) 

la ma sard pa kixt-ey ke der-0 

COMIT... 1SG.STR.OBL ...COMIT in... boat-F ...in much-PL.M.DIR 

sr-a aw spin-0 zar-0 di 

red-PL.M.DIR and white-PL.M.DIR metal-PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘There is a lot of gold and silver in the boat with me.’ csm 


9.2.2 Assignment of ablative case 

Some adpositions assign the ablative case to their object, most notably GP aJ /la/ and 
complex adpositions that contain it. The ablative case is discussed in Section 5.1.3.3. 

The ablative case-marking suffix is apparently historically related to the postposi¬ 
tion Aj /na/; for instance, a_^L /pasa/ ‘top.ABL’ in example 9.17 is historically derived 
from /pas/ ‘top’ plus the postposition aj /na/ ‘from’. In this work, we neverthe¬ 
less treat the ablative suffix as a case-marker and aj /na/ as a postpositional element, 
unlike other sources (e.g. Tegey & Robson 1996) that treat a /a/ as simply a variant of 
aj /na/. 

(9.4) . ^ ^\j a ,j% a) 

Id plar-a ray-al-ay yam 

from father-M.ABL come.AOR.PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘I have come from father.’ (NW,SW) 

(9.5) . <J-L auxJj aJ a-fpUli! ^ 

da al-qeda-0 yar-i 

of al-Qaida-M.OBL member-PL.M.DIR 

wa-taxt-ed-al 
AOR-flee-PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘The members of al-Qaida fled from Afghanistan.’ 


la afyanistan-a 
from Afghanistan-M.ABL 



Adpositions and case assignment 


309 


Other adpositions can assign either oblique or ablative case to the object, without 
a difference in meaning. 

(9.6) .<_Sj jj$ iSj* 

be sar-i kor-0 xali wi 

without man-M.OBL house-M.DIR empty be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Without a man, the house is empty.’ ( swj 


(9.7) .<_Sj JU- ^ 

be sar-aya kor-0 xali wi 

without man-M.ABL house-M.DIR empty be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Without a man, the house is empty.’ ( swj 

For some other adpositions, assigning ablative as opposed to oblique case affects 
the meaning of the phrase; for instance with j /da/, which is normally associated with 
possession (see Section 9.3.1.1), having the object marked in the ablative case gives the 
sense of ‘(motion) away from’: 


(9.8) . jvIpI j a jj S~ i 

do kor-a ray l-am 

from house-M.ABL come.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I came from home.’ 

There may also be dialectal variation as to whether the oblique or the ablative case 
is assigned by a particular adposition. In some dialects or in different styles, there is 
apparently synchronic alternation between the ablative suffix and the postposition 
/na/ ‘from’. 


9.2.3 Assignment of direct case 

In General Pashto, the adpositions 4 j /pa/ ‘on, in’ and ... 4 j /pa...ke/ ‘in, at’ may 

assign direct or oblique case to their objects (Tegey & Robson, 1996: 158); our own 
research on current usage is that direct case may be gaining ground, while Tegey & 
Robson (1996) identify the use of the direct form as literary or formal. Example 9.9 
shows the feminine noun S /kota/ ‘room’ appearing in the oblique form, while 
9.10 demonstrates it in direct form. Likewise, examples 9.11 and 9.12 contain the same 
alternation, this time using the masculine noun jL> /xar/ ‘city’. In example 9.11, the 
noun is in direct plural form; in 9.12, it is in the oblique plural form. We have not found 
this difference in case-marking to correspond to a difference in meaning. 



310 


Adpositions 


(9.9) .<js c— b ^ Aj jjjj Uj 

zma wror-0 pa 

1SG.STR.POSS brother-M.DIR in... 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 
‘My brother is sitting in the room.’ C sw 

(9.10) .(Ji C— b AjjS" Aj jjjj Uj 

zma wror-0 pd 

1SG.STR.POSS brother-M.DIR in... 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 
‘My brother is sitting in the room.’ csw 

(9.11) 4jjjL> Aj C ^S\S~ Aj (_£jljJ Aj ^ i 

da malgr-o malit-uno da yzayi mowad-o 

of friend-PL.M.OBL nation-PL.M.OBL of nutritional items-PL.M.OBL 

program-0 nd yuwaze pa kal-io balki pa 

program-M.DIR NEG only in... village-PL.M.OBL but.also in... 

xar-una ke ham xoraki mowad-0 xalk-o 

city-PL.M.DIR ...in also nutritional items-PL.M.DIR people-PL.M.OBL 

ta 0-wes-i 

to CONT-distribute-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘The United Nations' Food Program is distributing food items to people not 
only in villages, but also to those in cities.’ 


kot-a ki nast-0 

room-F.DIR ...in sitting-M.DIR 


kot-e ki nast-0 

room-F.OBL ...in sitting-M.DIR 



Adpositions and case assignment 


311 


(9.12) 


j! jJjjLjo 4 j 


4jwy^J 0 Lo* 3^i La) ^SsJ jjT 3 ^ J ^ ^iT' yZZ 


da afyanistan-0 da pohdn-e 

of Afghanistan-M.OBL of education-F.OBL 


wizarat-0 

ministry-M.DIR 


0-way-i ce 0-ywar-i da 

CONT-tell.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] COMP CONT-want.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] of 


yunasko pa marasta-0 da hewad-0 pa xar-uno aw 

UNESCO INSTR help-F.DIR of country-M.OBL in... city-PL.M.OBL and 

kal-io ke da zdakawunk-o la par-a 

village-PL.M.OBL ...in of student-PL.M.OBL from sake.M.ABL 


yaw-0 san rozaniz-a zamina-0 barabar-a 

one-M.DIR similar educational-F.DIR opportunity-F.DIR prepared-F.DIR 


kr-i 

do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.M] 


‘Afghanistan's Ministry of Education says that it wants to provide similar 
educational opportunities to students in both cities and villages with the help 
of UNESCO.’ 


9.2.4 Mixed case-marking inside objects of adpositions 

Inside the objects of adpositions, case-marking is not particularly consistent. Modi¬ 
fiers of the noun inside the adpositional object may fail to agree on case with the gov¬ 
erning noun, as shown for adjectives in sentence 9.13 and for demonstratives in 9.14. 
Conjoined noun phases inside the adpositional object may fail to agree with each other, 
as shown in example 9.11. 

(9.13) . ^^jj ^ 

natsagar-an leka da zwand-i 

dancer-PL.M.ANIM.DIR like... of alive-PL.M.DIR 

qaz-ano yunde di 

goose-PL.M.ANIM.OBL ...like be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘The dancers are like energetic geese.’ 

(9.14) jjlp jA 4A.& 4j 

pa hay-a mawzo-ato bande 

on... that-PL.M.DIR topic-PL.M.OBL ...on 

‘on those topics’ 



312 


Adpositions 


9.3 Prepositions 

According to most analyses, Pashto has three prepositions: j /da/ ‘of’, aj /pa/ ‘on, 
by means of’, and j /tar/ ‘up to’. We describe here several additional prepositions; 
however, some of them alternate with circumpositions, so it is possible that what ap¬ 
pear to be independent prepositions are circumpositions with omitted postpositional 
components. Besides their independent functions as prepositions, each of them may 
also appear as components of various circumpositions, which we treat separately in 
Section 9.5. The additional prepositions listed in that section may be associated with 
different varieties of Pashto. 


9.3.1 The prepositions /da/, /de/, /ye/, /e/ ‘of’ 

The GP preposition i /da/appears to alternate with the items/de/, /ye/, and /e/char¬ 
acteristic of the Middle dialects. The Middle items appear to vary with relative freedom 
within the dialect group, while the GP item j /da/alternates distributionally with the 
GP item a) /la/, which is nevertheless discussed separately in Section 9.3.2. This group 
of items expresses functions that are in other languages associated with genitive case 
marking. 


9.3.1.1 The General Pashto preposition j /da/ 

The preposition j /da/ is used to express any of a wide range of functional relation¬ 
ships between its object and other elements in the sentence 4 . As a determiner (see also 
Section 6.3), it expresses typical possessive and meronymic relations, and is used also 
to mark the complements of transitive nominalizations or gerunds, as well as the sub¬ 
jects of intransitive nominalizations or gerunds. 

There appears to be a high degree of variation in the pronunciation of j /da /: this 
same orthographic form may be pronounced as /da/ or /di/ in construction with the 
first and second person pronouns, while /da/ is additionally attested for j in con¬ 
struction with the third person pronouns. Other scholars analyze the different pronun¬ 
ciations in terms of dialect differences: Penzl (1955) identifies the pronunciation /da/ 
with the Eastern dialect, and Tegey & Robson (1996) identify the pronunciation /di/ 
with what they call the Central dialect, the geographic area including Kabul (labeled 
Northwest in this grammar). 

Some examples of common relationships expressed using j /da/ are given here. 
Notice that phrases governed by j /da/precede their governing noun irrespective of 


4 Hewson & Bubenik (2006) refer to /da/ as the genitive marker, while acknowledging its 
grammatical status as a preposition. 



Prepositions 


313 


the functional relationship between the two—for instance, the nominal complement 
in sentence 9.15 and the true possessive in 9.16 are both in phrase-initial position. 

<_£<»L;U j /da maxam storay/ ‘the evening star’ nw 

j /da balapox lastunay/‘the coat sleeve ’nw 
O ljL?- JjIp i /da adil xpalwan/‘Adil's relatives’ 
c—jj j /da dost spay/ ‘the friend's dog’ 

ij j /da watan satana/ ‘protection of the country’ 

/de yespone caplay/ ‘sandals of iron’ dza (Septfonds, 1994: 4.0.2.2) 

(9.15) a 3 jjLU-tXjl i i 

da tir-o intixabat-o da natayij-o 

of past-PL.M.OBL elections-PL.M.OBL of result-PL.M.OBL 

laywa-0 kaw-al 

cancellation-M.DIR do-INF 

‘invalidating the results of the past elections’ 
j /da/ can govern the objects of de verbal nouns, as in the example j /da 

watan satana/ ‘protection of the country’. In such uses, it is common to find multiple 
instances one after another. In example 9.16, we consider each phrase consisting of j 
/da/ and its object to be a simple prepositional phrase, except for the final one, which 
is a circumpositional phrase with aJ . . . j /da ... la maxe/. 

(9.16) a) Ljj 2 jjjj i i 

da afyanistdn-0 da koran-ayo car-o da 

of Afghanistan-M.OBL of internal-PL.F.OBL affair-PL.F.OBL of 

wazir-0 da waynd-0 la max-e 

minister-M.OBL of speech-F.OBL from direction-F.OBL 

‘according to Afghanistan's Minister of the Interior’ 

In many dialects, when j /da/ governs a strong pronoun, the j /da/ has reduced 
to a single consonant; the result is a set of coalesced or fused forms that are identified 
in Section 7.2.3 as pronouns expressing genitive functions. Examples of these items are 
found in examples 9.2 and 9.9. In other dialects, the phrase is pronounced with distinct 
preposition and object (Penzl, 1955: 77.3a). 


9.3.1.2 Complex adpositions using j /da/ 

In general, j /da/ governs the item denoting the possessor or the holonym of which 
another adpositional phrase may denote the possessed item or be the meronym. An 
apparently independent condition requires the phrase governed by j /da/ (or the pos¬ 
sessive pronoun mentioned above) to be the first element in the larger phrase it belongs 
to. With the lexicalization of meronyms, this produces the effect of a circumposition, 



314 


Adpositions 


as exemplified in 9.17. (See also Table 6.38 for a variant on this construction, used in 
some additive number name forms.) These collocations are fixed and idiomatic to vary¬ 
ing degrees; the glosses reflect the translation of their components, while the sentence 
translations reflect the meaning of the phrase as a whole. 

aJ . . . a /da...la pasa/, a_^Ij a ... a /da...dapasa/‘above, over, on top of’ 5 

(9.17) .(JS A*vb aJ a 

da kil-i la pas-a silaw-0 

of village-M.OBL of top-M.ABL flood-M.DIR 

rnyl-ay day 

come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘The flood came from above the village.’ ® 6 

(9.18) . JJ 4jlaS*" a^Ij a a 

da mez-0 da pas-a kitab-una zma 

of table-M.OBL from top-M.ABL book-PL.M.DIR 1SG.STR.P0SS 

nd day 

NEG be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘The books on top of the table are not mine.’ 7 

This situation results in constructions that function as circumpositions, in that 
the elements together all govern one object. Other common phrases with a /da/ that 
function as complex circumpositions are discussed below in Section 9.5.I.3. 

Section 6.5.1.2 and Table 6.38 describe how, in an apparently extragrammatical 
way (because the construction appears without either a /da/ or a) /la/governing the 
grammatical object), this circumposition can be used in number names. 


9.3.1.3 The Middle dialect prepositions /de/, /ye/, /e/ 

In their prepositional uses, these items appear to vary freely with each other, /de/, the 
form closer in pronunciation to General Pashto, is found less often in Dzadrani than 
its variant /ye/. Lorimer (1902: 39) lists only /de/ and /e/, not /ye/, for Waziri. These 
two variant forms fulfill functions very similar to the corresponding items a /da/ and 
a! /la/ in General Pashto. As is the case for General Pashto, a phrase governed by /de/ 
or /ye/is often found in pre-clausal position. 


5 In example 9.17, the /silaw/ is an Eastern-dialect variant. In Western dialects it is 
/ selab/. 

6 Standardized version of 9.17: . a! a 

7 Standardized version of 9.18: . as Uj AijjbS” a^L : 



Prepositions 


315 


(9.19) .ji jU ^aLj «jjj] Jj5 j 

qacaq-i e tol-0 mulk-ina e por-a e 

smuggling-F.DIR of all-PL.M.DIR nation-PL.M.DIR of sake-M.ABL of 

tabah-i liyar-0 do 

destruction-F.OBL path-F.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Smuggling is a path to destruction for all nations.’ <wazj 

(9.20) da ye to po orso ke mij. prot-d 

this.DIR of 2SG.STR in... land ...in 1PL.STR.DIR located-PL.M.DIR 

yi 

be.CONT.PRS.IPL 

‘We are on your land.’ (DZA) 

(Example 9.20 is from Septfonds 1994: 269.) 

In Dzadrani, according to Septfonds (1997: 8.2.1), the contracted forms discussed 
in Table 7.6 do not exist; the uncontracted forms with the governing preposition /ye/ 
and the strong pronoun objects are found instead. 


9.3.1.4 Middle dialect complex adpositions using /ye/ 

Septfonds notes that the placement of these phrases before the phrase they modify 
has resulted in the effect of circumpositions, due in part to the lexicalization of the 
meronym. This is analogous to the situation in General Pashto (see Section 9.3.1.2 and 
Section 9.5.1.1), but Septfonds records different combinations which result in different 
circumposition-like phrases. The following are constructions mentioned specifically 
in Septfonds (1994: 258) for Dzadrani: 

• /ye ... pa sar/ ‘at the top of, above’ (compare 9.17) 

• /ye ... pa manj ke/ ‘in the middle of’ 

• /ye ... pa yo/‘at the top of, above’ 

• /ye ... xo ta/‘next to’ 

• /ye ... ye pora/‘after’ 

A number of phrases are based on the combination of /ye/ (in its use indicating 
motion away from—see 9.8) with two nouns in succession, both of which are marked 
ablative. The second noun is always /liri/ or /lerya/ ‘direction’. Again in these cases, 
the entire phrase governs a single object. Compare the GP examples with /max/ 

‘direction’(9.16), and with jj.J 4j ... i /da...pa lor/ ‘towards’ (9.89). 



316 


Adpositions 


• /ye ... pa liri/ ‘towards’ 

(9.21) ye... ker ...pa liri 

of... house ...on direction 

‘toward the house’ (DZA) 

• /ye ... barya lerya/ ‘from ... above [lit. from ... top direction]’ 

• /ye ... tsata lerya/ ‘from... behind [lit. from... back direction]’ 

• /ye ... posa lerya/ ‘from... above, on top [lit. from ... top direction]’ 

• /ye ... kiza lerya/ ‘from... below [lit. from ... bottom direction]’ 

In addition to these combinations, the circumposition /ye...na/ ‘from’ governs the 
standard of comparison where the compared item is the object of /tar/ ‘than’ (compare 
General Pashto: see Section 9.3.5). 


9.3.2 The General Pashto preposition aJ /la/ ‘from’ 

Most grammars treat the element aJ /la/ only as part of a circumposition. However, 
aJ /la/ can function as a preposition of ablative function or of origin, when its object 
appears with ablative case marking. Some sources treat a) /la/ as a variant of j /da/, 
reflecting the fact that they are interchangeable as components of many circumposi- 
tions. While we are neutral as to that issue, we should nonetheless note that the two 
items may differ in meaning when appearing as independent prepositions. In partic¬ 
ular, the preposition aJ /la/ does not have the possessive interpretation exemplified 
in Section 9.3.I.I. On the other hand, if there are two circumpositions that contain the 
same postpositional element and vary between j /da/ and aJ /la/, they are apparently 
synonymous or reflect dialectal differences. The preposition a) /la/ should not be con¬ 
fused with the postposition aJ /la/ ‘to’ , which exists in some dialects (see Section 
9.4.2). 

(9.22) . ^ ^\j a a) 

la plar-a rayl-ay yam 

from father-M.ABL come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘I have come from father.’ (NW,SW) 

The GP variant aJ /la/ is claimed to be nonexistent in Dzadrani; however, our own 
consultants dispute this, acknowledging that it is relatively rare; for Waziri, Lorimer 
(1902:39) cites it as part of the circumposition /la...na/ ‘from’ and /be la...na/ ‘without’. 



Prepositions 


317 


9.3.3 The preposition ^ /be/ ‘without’ 

Alone or in construction with the preposition aJ /la/ ‘from’, ^ /be/ ‘without’ may 
govern an object which is typically assigned the ablative case. Both variants are cited 
by Lorimer (1902: 39) for Waziri; he does not discuss case assignment, but he does 
mention the presumably cognate circumposition /be ... la na/ (suggesting that aJ /la/ 
is an ambiposition). See also examples 9.6 and 9.116. 

(9.23) .(Jij < Jj\ji jjjj tjy- (a)) 

be (Id) xor-a wror-0 yawazi wi 

without (from) sister-F.ABL brother-M.DIR lonely be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M 

‘A brother without a sister is lonely.’ wm 

(9.24) . jJj J— iSj'j axS*" j>~ ^ sj j L< 

ma dd dd be harkat-a aw 

1SG.STR.OBL of 3SG.M.STR.OBL without movement-M.ABL and 

ddr-ay wdray jdsad-0 wd-lid-0 

shredded-M.DIR ECHO corpse-M.DIR AOR-see.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I saw his lifeless and broken body.’ 

Some scholars (e.g. Penzl 1955) suggest that ^ /be/ can be thought of as an affix 

rather than a preposition; Lorimer (1902: 39) gives the same analysis for Waziri. By 
contrast, we treat the prefix and the preposition as two separate, but related, items 
based on the lexical class of the item governed by ^ /be/. See Section 6.8.2 for a 
brief description of its use as an affix deriving adjectives. Note that in sentence 9.24, 
the prepositional phrase is attributively modifying a noun, fulfilling the function of 
an adjective; this shows the relationship to the derivational affix. 

Our analysis of the corresponding Dzadrani item differs from that of Septfonds 
(1994: 269) in that he identifies the /be/ with the future marker (the /ba/ of General 
Pashto). We treat it as corresponding to GP ^ /be/ ‘without’. The object shows abla¬ 
tive case-marking, as it normally does in General Pashto (see Section 9.3.3). Septfonds 
(1994: 5.1.1.4) claims that the governing of ablative case-marking by /be/ is limited to 
singular nouns whose stems are consonant-final. 


9.3.4 The prepositions 4 j /pa/, /par/ 

Scholars disagree as to whether Pashto synchronically possesses one polyfunctional 
word with two pronunciations, /pa/, /par/, or two words, /pa/ and /par/. Arguments 



318 


Adpositions 


can be made in both directions, and spelling and pronunciation variation does not line 
up neatly with differences in function. 8 

Here we note that the more frequent pronunciation of these items in Dzadrani is 
/pa/ (Septfonds, 1997). Below, we describe three functions of the prepositions 4 j /pa/, 
j /par/. This item can also be the first component in several circumpositions, which 
are discussed in Section 9.5.3. See Section 9.6.1 for a variant of this preposition that 
incorporates its object. 


9.3.4.1 The locational 4 j /pa/,/par/‘on’ 

Either the preposition 4 j /pa/, j /par/ ‘on’ or a circumposition containing it may be 
used to express location. Compare example 9.25 with 9.128. 

(9.25) . 4j yj* 4j 

pd mez-0 qalam-una di 

on table-M pen-PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘There are pens on the table.’ mm 

Example 9.26 shows a circumpositional phrase containing^... aj /pa...ke/, mod¬ 
ified by a prepositional phrase headed by 4 j /pa/. 

(9.26) . ^£ Aj4j 

pd afyanistan-0 pd ddxt-o aw yar-uno 

in... Afghanistan-M in... desert-PL.F.OBL and mountain-PL.M.OBL 

ki tajriba-0 kaw-i 

...in experiment-F.DIR do.C0NT-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘They are performing experiments in the deserts and mountains in 
Afghanistan.’ 9 

Note again the possibility, in at least the NW and SW dialects, that either oblique 
or direct case may be assigned to the object, as shown in examples 9.28 and 9.27. 

(9.27) . jj 

pdr kitabc-e me qalam-0 kexod-0 

on notebook-F.OBL 1SG.WK pen-M.DIR AOR\place.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I put a pen on the notebook.’ (NW) 


8 4j /pa/is cognate with Persian /ba/ ‘in, to’, while j_ /par/is cognate with Persian j /bar/‘on’ 
(Heston, 1987:166-167). Lorenz (1982) takes the position implied here, that there are two words. 

9 Standardized version of 9.26: ^ ^ 



Prepositions 


319 


(9.28) . i A^jUS^ ji 

par kitabca-0 me qalam-0 kexod-0 

on notebook-F.DIR 1SG.WK pen-M.DIR A0R\place.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I put a pen on the notebook.’ (NW) 


9.3.4.2 The instrumental 4 j /pa/ ‘with, by means of’ 

One use of the preposition 4 j /pa/ (but not /par/) indicates instrumentality or means 
(compare with example 9.136). Note too the use of aj /pa/ with an inflected adjective 
complement (9.32). 

(9.29) a j 

za dod-ay pa caku-0 0-xor-am 

1SG.STR.DIR food-F.DIR INSTR knife-M CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

‘I eat with a knife.’ ( sw> 


(9.30) j\ 

Aj \ ASsj L) 


i Aj 


«jj 


rago ram-0 ce da hind-0 da sunat-0 pa 

Rago Ram-M.DIR COMP of India-M.OBL of industry-M.OBL in... 

kanfarans-0 ke da inerz-ay da barx-e paxwan-ay 

conference-M ...in of energy-F.OBL of part-F.OBL former-M.DIR 

salakar-0 day 0-way-i ce 

advisor-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M CONT-tell.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] COMP 

daya stunza-0 ba da xosusi sektor-0 da 

this.DIR problem-F.DIR WOULD of private sector-M.OBL of 

yat-o panga acawan-o pa marasta-0 hal 

large-PL.M.OBL wealth tossing-PL.F.OBL INSTR help-F.DIR solved 

s-i 

become. A0R.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 


‘Rago Ram, who is a former energy advisor in India's Industrial Federation, 
says that this problem will be solved by means of significant investments 
from the private sector.’ 

4j /pa/ may govern an event nominal, often in infinitival form, which indicates an 
event that has a causative or circumstantial relationship to the event denoted in the 
finite verb. The examples in Section 5.4.2 show this usage. 



320 


Adpositions 


When the object of aj /pa/ is animate, the sentence takes on the sense of a causative 
construction in which the grammatical subject denotes an ultimate cause of an event 
expressed through the rest of the sentence: the actor of the caused event is expressed 
as the prepositional object. Compare 9.31 with 9.154; the animacy value of the prepo¬ 
sitional object prompts the interpretation as denoting an intermediate agent or an in¬ 
strument. 

(9.31) . tSj (j*' 

sar-ay pa ras-dy as-0 0-tar-i 

man-M.DIR INSTR rope-F horse-M.DIR CONT-tie-PRS.3 

‘The man ties the horse up with a rope.’ 

An example of aj /pa/ conveying manner can be seen in the following examples 
(see also 9.93 and 9.94). In this usage, it may be found in construction with an adjecti¬ 
val, rather than nominal, object (as shown in example 9.32; see also Section 10.2.3). 

(9.32) . jjy a) AjLA Aj ASO 

daya kas-an pa asan-a da 

this.DIR person-PL.M.ANIM.DIR INSTR easy-M.ABL of 

nor-o hukam-0 nti 0-axl-i 

other-PL.M.OBL order-M.DIR NEG CONT-take.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘These people don't easily take orders from others.’ 

(9.33) All \j£ 4j 4j>- 

tsa pa gran-a mi kar-i 

what INSTR difficult-M.ABL 1SG.WK do.AOR-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

‘I did something with great strain.’ 

(9.34) . i A4j 

pa xat-a paxtun-0 d-ay 

INSTR mud-F.DIR Pashtoon-M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS-3SG.M 

‘He is Pashtoon by origin.’ 

The preposition aj /pa/ can appear in a number of idioms indicating manner. 
These lexicalized phrases differ across dialects. 


9.3.4.3 The temporal aj /pa/ fJ j /par/ ‘at, on’ 

The prepositions aj /pa/ , /par/ ‘at, on’ can govern a noun that refers to a time of 
day, as shown in 9.35 and 9.36; see also 9.81 for a temporal collocation with aj /pa/. 



Prepositions 


321 


(9.35) .jj j)2 a*a 4j 

ahmad-0 pa hay a spa-0 der-0 nesa 

Ahmad-M.DIR at that.DIR night-F.DIR very-M.DIR drunk 

wo 

be.CONT.PST.3SG.M 

‘Ahmad was very drunk on that night.’ ew 

(9.36) (jj\ a iljj* jl a jjjad - 1 Jjl>- 'tlji-li a 0L °ji 4j<A 

a 4*A 4 j C(_£a iSy-* uSlJ L5v^ *9 ^ 

. ^jfd ^ d^dj^~ ^ jAjL&P a t_ 5 : v~ 4jaua4J 

haya farman-0 ce da daxila car-o aw da 

that.DIR order-M.DIR COMP of internal affair-PL.F.OBL and of 

mazhabi umur-o da wazir-ano aw da de 

religious affair-PL.M.OBL of minister-PL.M.ANIM.OBL and of this.OBL 

haywad-0 da loy-0 tsaranwal-i la xwa-0 da 

country-M.OBL of large-M.OBL attorney-M.OBL from side-F.OBL of 

dosanb-e pa sp-e las lik 

Monday-F.OBL at night-F.OBL hand letter 

suw-ay day pa hay-a ke 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M in... that-M.OBL ...in 

da ahmadiy-e na yuxtana-0 

from... Ahmadiya-F.OBL ...from request-F.DIR 

suw-e da ce da 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F COMP of 

xpal-o aqayid-o da xapar-aw-al-o 

own-PL.M.OBL beliefs-PL.M.OBL from... broadcasted-do-INF-PL.M.OBL 

na dada-0 wa-kr-i 

...from side-F.DIR AOR-do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘In the order that was written on Monday night by the ministers of Internal 
Affairs and of Religious Affairs, as well as by the nation's Attorney General, it 
was requested that Ahmadiya refrain from proselytizing its beliefs.’ 10 


10 Standardized version of 9.36: a jl a a jl jjU- dpla a OUy <Ua 

4j 1 a ^a 4 j*a t^a jZ- l-S-LJ ‘V ^ iS a al^-A 

. J *0 a jJjLap jhp a oa 



322 


Adpositions 


It may also be used with number terms in time expressions to mean at X o'clock. 
In this construction, the numbers can appear either in the oblique form, as expected 
after a preposition, or in the direct form. Compare 9.37 and 9.38, which also show that 
the object can appear as either singular or plural: 

(9.37) . py- iSiJi jy 

pa dw-o baj-o 

at two-PL.F.OBL hour-PL.F.OBL 

‘I eat at two o'clock.’ 

(9.38) . py- t£iy ay 4 j 

pa dcw-a baj-a dod-ay 0-xor-am 

at two-F.DIR hour-F.DIR food-F.DIR CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

‘I eat at two o'clock.’ 

In some dialects, both pronunciations of the preposition can be found with this 
meaning: 

(9.39) .py- xSiji yy y, a j 

za par/pa dw-e baj-e dod-ay 

1SG.STR.DIR at two-PL.F.DIR hour-PL.F.DIR food-F.DIR 

0-xwar-am 

CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

‘I eat at two o'clock.’ <sm 


dod-ay 0-xor-am 
food-F.DIR CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 


9.3.4.4 With aspectual verbs 

Described for Dzadrani (Septfonds, 1994: 269), and found also in General Pashto, is 
a use of 4 j /pa/ in construction with aspectual verbs to indicate the beginning of the 
process. 

(9.40) da me we-ta wa-niw-0 brid-0 me 

this.DIR 1SG.WK 3SG-to A0R-take.PST-PST.3SG.M attack-M.DIR 1SG.WK 

pa wa-k-a 

TMP A0R-do.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘I took it to her and started [to milk]’ 



Prepositions 


323 


(9.41) 4j 4j fj 4j ^ 

•<-£} (jdj Jjl J> 

armal-0 oror-a da xo de dumra 

Armal-M.DIR brother-M.VOC this.DIR EMPH this.OBL so.much 

yat-0 daz-0 pa wa-kar-0 ce 

big-M.DIR shot-M.DIR TMP AOR-do.AOR-PST.3SG.M COMP 

skatland-iano ba pa skdtland-0 ke 

Scottish-PL.M.ANIM.OBL WOULD in... Scotland-M ...in 

0-awr-ed-al-ay wi lol 

CONT-hear-PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M LOL 


‘Armal, brother, he took such a large shot right then that the Scots must have 
heard it in Scotland. LOL’ 


9.3.5 The preposition ji /tar/ "up to” 

The preposition j /tar/ often appears as the first component of several circumposi- 
tions; it is also found as an independent preposition with a meaning of 'up to, across 1 
(Hewson & Bubenik, 2006:156)—see 9.93 for an example of this use. 

Example 9.53 gives an example of j /tar/ in a common idiom. For a reduced form 
of this preposition in construction with the weak third-person pronoun, see Section 
9.6.1. 

As part of a pair of correlative adpositions ‘from. ..to,’ j /tar/ pairs with the circum- 
position Aj... j /de ... na/ ‘from’, and can govern the assignment of ablative or direct 
case marking to its object. 

(9.42) .JU- aLIS" jj 4j ^>-1 ^ ^ 

da karaci-0 na tar Kabul-a da 

from... Karachi-M.OBL ...from up.to Kabul-M.ABL of 

paxtan-o hal-0 

Pashtoon-PL.M.OBL situation-M.DIR 

‘the state of Pashtoons from Karachi to Kabul’ 

In the SW dialect, the circumposition iSjji («) • • • J> /tar ••• (a) pore/ ‘up to, until’ 
is claimed to have an optional second component, as indicated by the parentheses in 
examples 9.135 and 9.136. 

j /tar/ also functions as a preposition in comparative and superlative construc¬ 
tions (see also examples 9.109 through 9.113 for an alternative form for comparatives 
and superlatives). Across dialects j /tar/ may assign direct or oblique case to its ob- 



324 


Adpositions 


ject; for Dzadrani, Septfonds (1997: 8.3.2) claims that j I tax I can assign either oblique 
or direct case to its object. 

(9.43) y 

afydnistan-0 tar frdns-e yat-0 day 

Afghanistan-M.DIR than France-M.OBL big-M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Afghanistan is larger than France.’ 

(9.44) . jr y y - 

da mahmud-0 kor-0 tar 

of Mahmoud-M.OBL house-M.DIR than 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Mahmoud's house is the biggest [of all].’ 

(9.45) y ^ f\y aj Joy s jS~ y* ay y j^Jjj i ^ jL> \^ aj i 

. ai aAjjJ . ‘f jA Aj jy$ 

da pakistan-0 pa karac-ay ke da polis-o par 

of Pakistan-M.OBL in... Karachi-F.OBL ...in of police-PL.M.OBL on 

yaw-a merkaz-0 da brid-0 pa trnts-0 ke tar yaw 

one-M.OBL center-M of attack-M.OBL in... interval-M ...in than one 

nim sal-o der-o xalk-o ta marg 

half one.hundred-PL.M.OBL more-PL.M.OBL people-PL.M.OBL to death 

zobl-a 0-awuxt-e da 

injury-F.DIR CONT-cross.over.PST-PTCP.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘More than 150 people were injured or killed during an attack on a police 
station in Karachi, Pakistan.’ 

A circumposition, which he transcribes as /pa...na/, is cited by Lorimer (1902:12) 
as the marker of comparison for Waziri; the entire circumpositional phrase precedes 
the adjectival head. 

9.3.6 The preposition /leka/ ‘like’ 

The preposition aSsJ /leka/ ‘like’ may appear independently or may be part of a circum¬ 
position (see 9.13). 


tol-o Iw-ay 

all-PL.M.OBL large-M.DIR 



Postpositions 


325 


(9.46) . j! a5\J ^jjy*jj 4j 0(^- 

talwal-i hatsa-0 Jor-e dzan-0 pd 

mass-PL.M.DIR effort-F.DIR do.AOR-PTCP.F.DIR self-M.DIR INSTR 


xkl-i num-uno singar kr-i leka 

beautiful-PL.M.DIR name-PL.M decoration do.AOR-PRS.3[PL.M] like 


tayir-0 aw umed-0 

Taghir-M.DIR and Ahmed-M.DIR 


‘Everybody’s been trying to doll themselves up using fancy names, like Taghir 
and Umed.’ 


(9.47) . jyz 

dase maws-0 jor-0 suw-ay leka 

such mouse-M.DIR built-M.DIR become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR like 

las pox-e aywast-dl kig-i 

hand cover-F.DIR wear-INF become.C0NT.PRES-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘A [computer] mouse has been made to be worn like a glove.’ 

The preposition can also be used in construction with the complementizer /ca/, 
with scope over the corresponding proposition, indicating an epistemic judgment: 

(9.48) . tjij- 5 <*->- aSsJ 

leka ca duy rack-i 

like COMP 3PL come.PRS.CONT-PRS.3 

‘It seems like they are coming.’ csm 


9.4 Postpositions 

9.4.1 Overview 

Some other grammars indicate only one postposition for Pashto overall, /ta/ ‘to’. 
However, many items treated in other works as adverbs take objects; accordingly, some 
of them are listed in this section. In any case, the claim that /ta/ is the only inde¬ 
pendent postposition may be true for only some dialects: Hewson & Bubenik (2006: 
153) claim that /ke/ can appear independently in Eastern and Western dialects; 

also, Tegey & Robson (1996) indicate that /na/ can appear as an independent post¬ 
position in NW and NE dialects, as exemplified below. Although they do not identify 
the associated dialects, Hewson & Bubenik (2006:153) also identify the independent 



326 


Adpositions 


postposition Alb /bande/ ‘up, above’, whose cognate /bondi/ ‘atop, above’ we here 
identify with Middle varieties, after Lorimer (1902). 

There are several morphosyntactic conditions under which the first component 
of a circumposition is omitted. To the extent we can discern, we consider these cases 
of incomplete circumpositions, rather than cases of complete postpositions. See Sec¬ 
tion 9.7.5, in particular the discussion preceding sentences 9.162 and 9.164. In practical 
terms, it is often difficult to decide whether an item is a postposition, or a circumposi¬ 
tion with its first component omitted. 


9.4.2 The postposition 43 /ta/ ‘to, for’ 


4j /ta/ is the postposition most commoniy described as functioning independentiy. It 
governs arguments denoting destinations (9.49) and recipients (9.50), and may also 
govern beneficiary arguments, as in 7.71. Its object appears in the oblique case form. 
Note that 43 /ta/ can also function as the second component of a circumposition, in 
construction with the preposition j /wa/. This form, however, appears to be much 
less common; we have found it described for Dzadrani (see Table 9.2), while it was 
marked as archaic by Lorimer (1902) for Waziri; Pate (2012:18) cites the circumposition 
as possible for the Kandahari dialect, with the postposition preferred. 


(9.49) .y- *3 ytJjy jy 

muz sowandz-i ta ck-u 

1PL.STR.DIR school-M.OBL to go.CONT.PRS-IPL 

‘We are going to school’ 


(9.50) . 43 

ahmad-0 ta kitab-0 warkar-a 
Ahmad-M.OBL to book-M.DIR give.AOR-IMP.SG 

‘Give the book to Ahmad.’ 


(9.51) . 4 JU-1 j 43 43\J- 4 JU-1 j ^jj I i 

da rup-ay w-axl-a dzan-a ta 

this.DIR rupee-F.DIR AOR-take.PRS-IMP.SG self-M.OBL for 

tsapl-ay ham w-axl-a 

sandals-F.DIR also AOR-take.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Take the money and buy some sandals for yourself.’ 

Several sources (Skalmowski 1996, Shafeev 1964) claim that 4 ] /la/and a J /lara/ 
are variants of 43 /ta/. There is little agreement as to which variant is more character- 



Postpositions 


327 


istic of which dialect group; however, among these, a J /lara/ appears to be the rarest 
in everyday use. 


9.4.3 The postposition a^ /sara/ ‘with’ 

Though more common as a component of a circumposition (see examples 9.66 and 
9.99), a/sara/ ‘[comitative] with’ can be found as an independent postposition: 

(9.52) . J/ ajSo- OUil 

mulla-0 mohammed-0 omar-0 afghan 

Mullah-M.OBL Mohammed-M.OBL Omar-M.OBL Afghan 

hukumat-0 sara xabar-e rad 

government-M.OBL COMIT word-PL.F.DIR rejection 

ker-l-e 

do.AOR-PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘Mullah Mohammed Omar rejected talks with the Afghan government.’ 
This situation is sometimes described as a dialect-dependent optional omission of 
the first component of a circumposition (Tegey & Robson, 1996:155-156). 


9.4.4 The postposition /zidi/ ‘against’ 


The postposition /zidi/ ‘against, anti-’ (also pronounced /zed-e/) denotes op¬ 

position. It can also be used to govern a predicate or modifier, with the approximate 
meaning ‘contrary’ (see Section 6.8.2), and the stem as a nominal with the approximate 
meaning ‘opposite’. 


(9.53) . £ 0 J** 1 J fljN jj ibl ^ ^jLJUs 

taliban-o 0-yuxt-al ce da kabal-0 

Taliban-PL.M.DIR CONT-want.PST-PST.3PL.M COMP of Kabul-M.OBL 


jalalabad-0 par lara-0 dawlat-0 zidi 

Jalalabad-M.OBL on road-F.DIR government-M.OBL against 


faliyat-una tar sar-a kr-i 

activity-PL.M.DIR on head-.M.ABL do.AOR-PRS.3[PL.M] 


‘The Taliban wanted to undertake anti-government activities on the road from 
Kabul to Jalalabad.’ 



328 


Adpositions 


9.4.5 The postposition ^-Gl^ j /wrande/‘before’ 

Although it has not been described as a postposition by other Pashto scholars, Jjll^j 
/wrande/ ‘before’ fits our definition of a postposition that governs ablative case on its 
object. See 9.54 for an example. 

(9.54) 43 fljj 4 J jl i ^£-G 

• f J Jlj 

fso wrack-e wrande da muhasil-ino aw 

some day-F.OBL before of student-PL.M.OBL and 

dzwan-ano narewal-e tulan-e la 

young-PL.M.ANIM.OBL international-F.OBL society-F.OBL from 

xwa-0 yaw-a kanfardns-0 ta bal-al 

side-F.OBL one-M.OBL conference-M.OBL to invite-INF 

suw-ay warn 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.lSG 

‘A few days ago, I was invited to a conference by the International Society of 
Students and Young People.’ 


9.4.6 The postposition (j Ju/yunde/ ‘like’ 

Both this postposition and the preposition aSsJ /leka/ ‘like’ may independently govern 
an object, or may be combined into the circumposition exemplified in sentence 9.13. 

(9.55) . 4_S~ JJj_p c —; 

sarbat-0 yunde ye yarp k-a 

alcohol-SG.M.OBL like 3.WK gulp do.AOR-IMP.SG 

‘Chug it like a beer.’ 


9.4.7 The postposition /bande/ 

For some dialects, ^-Gh /bande/ can function with a range of meanings similar to 
those of .. 4 j /pa...bande/; see Section 9.5.3 for more information. 

A use of postposition /bondi/ in Waziri that we have not found in General Pashto 
is within number names; an example is given in Section 6.5. 



Circumpositions 


329 


9.4.8 Some additional postpositions in Middle dialects 

In apparent contrast to GP, /pse/ ‘after’ may be used as an independent postposition 
in Dzadrani. For Waziri, Lorimer (1902: 39) lists the independent postpositions /kxe/ 
‘on’, /londi/ ‘beneath,’ /pere/ ‘across’, among others, as independent postpositions. 
This conflicts with most claims about General Pashto that they are only components 
of circumpositions; however, some speakers of Northern dialects have reported that 
they can be found in those dialects as well. 

Attested examples suggest an even larger inventory of items that can be used as in¬ 
dependent postpositions; some of these may represent dialect differences, and some 
may exemplify constraints that resemble those of General Pashto, such as the con¬ 
straint against weak pronouns inside circumpositions: 

Example 9.56 gives an example of /na/ used as a postposition, and 9.57 shows 
/(p)se/ used as a postposition. 

(9.56) kala kala e sar-0 bagra-0 wd-nis-i 

when when of city-M.OBL manual.harvest(?)-F.DIR AOR-gather.PRS-IPL 

aw kala biya ripdl-0 nd kor-0 woxl-i 

and when then reaper-M.OBL from work-M.DIR AOR\take.PRS-lPL 

‘Sometimes we gather village people for harvesting by hand, and sometimes 

we use the reaper.’ (WAZ ) 11 

(9.57) lola ce day yer-0 de se wa-caw-i 

when COMP 3PL.STR.DIR fire-M.DIR 2 after AOR-throw-PRS.3[PL.M] 

ne ce der-bez-iz-i 

then COMP 2-near-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘When they put the fire after you and they approach you...’ ( dza) 


9.5 Circumpositions 

The majority of adpositions in Pashto are circumpositions. According to many gram¬ 
marians of Pashto, each circumposition can be analyzed as a combination of a preposi¬ 
tion and a postposition. 12 Our analysis is somewhat different in two ways. First, some 
of the elements found in circumpositions do not function as independent prepositions 


11 The glossing of /bagra-0/ as ‘manual.harvest’ is uncertain. 

12 Some authors, such as Heston (1987:169) and Dessart (1994), go further and state or hint that 
the circumpositions are the result of free combinations of prepositions and postpositions and are not 
completely conventionalized. We nevertheless find it useful to treat the most commonly occurring 
circumpositions as (discontinuous) lexical items. 



330 


Adpositions 


or postpositions (though perhaps most do). Second, we want to emphasize that al¬ 
though they consist of separate parts that are in some cases identifiable as indepen¬ 
dent words, circumpositions function as single relations governing a single comple¬ 
ment. Other studies treat the components as separate words, and variability noted 
throughout this section constitutes some evidence in favor of this view. 

Since an adpositional phrase can take an adpositional phrase rather than a noun 
phrase as an object, it is not always easy to tell whether an item is a true circumposi- 
tion, according to the definition above, or is (for instance) a preposition with a post¬ 
positional phrase as its object. When we are in doubt as to this question, we list the 
sequence as if it were a circumposition, on the grounds that such phrases may be in the 
process of lexicalization. Table 9.1 shows many of the simple circumpositions we have 
found for General Pashto, either through our own research or in other sources. Other 
dictionaries and descriptions show additional combinations or alternative orderings; 
apparently there is some freedom in how the elements are combined, and there is not 
full consensus on even which are the most frequent. It is evident that this is also an 
area of dialectal variation: besides there being differences in pronunciation associated 
with dialects, there are also differences in which combinations are to be found as cir¬ 
cumpositions. Some of those differences are reflected in Table 9.2, showing common 
circumpositions of Dzadrani and Waziri. 

In many of the Northern dialects of Pashto, as well as in some Middle dialects, the 
first component of some circumpositions appears to be fairly freely omissible, render¬ 
ing the effect of a postposition. Of the circumpositions listed in Table 9.1, the second 
component of many of these may appear independently with approximately the mean¬ 
ing of the circumposition. 



Circumpositions 


331 


3 

' 3 - 


3 % 

'0- = 


I- 


7"* C 

3 9 


S- 


- §_ 

»2 £ 

S O 

7 U 


O g S 

1 f* 


o 2 P 

• ^ CTs 

• vn .. 

: x: 

t » *5 

-a § 


^ ” 
.?> a> a. 
P 


i 


7- = 

i a 

'O-'O 


,• a v 


lil ?i 


ON 

ON 


V ™ 5 


vO 

On 


S'* — 

3 : 

^--2 


ON 

E 


3 — 


• ^ 

• VO „ 

: x: 

1 ™ ~ 
Q- § 


- 


^0- °- O E ON 




^ J 


a. 5 


“S <u " 


ijj s s 

£a § S 


-s* 


t 


Q- . 


05 tC 

•Q- ro 


rs 


On 


o 

o 


On 


**S v 

• "D 


T' - 

3 


' 3 - 


^ , - 


S- 


■«; r 


3- 


“s 


Table 9.1: Some GP simple circumpositions 



332 


Adpositions 


Table 9.2 shows the circumpositions cited for Middle dialects (Septfonds 1994; 
Lorimer 1902), in positions corresponding largely to the ones in Table 9.1. The first row 
of Table 9.2 may be understood as corresponding to the first two rows of that table, 
since in the Middle dialects, /ye/ and /de/ may vary freely in circumpositions. Some of 
these forms may also be found in GP dialects, and some of them may vary with forms 
found also in General Pashto (e.g. /pa...bande/ (9.58) in contrast with /pa...nde/). 

(9.58) ckake ce doy pa daya bonde der-a 

because COMP 3PL.M.0BL on... this.DIR ...on much-F.DIR 

ziyot-a kray-a 0-waxist-e wi 

much-F.DIR fee-F.DIR CONT-take.PST-PTCP.F.DIR be.AOR.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Because they have already gotten a lot of money as carriage charges for that.’ 

(DZA) 




334 


Adpositions 


9.5.1 Circumpositions with j /da/ 

9.5.1.1 General Pashto simple circumpositions with j /da/ 

The preposition j /da/ can combine with a number of postpositions to form simple 
circumpositions. 13 The ones we have found are exemplified in this section. 

• 4j ... j /da. ..na/ ‘from, out of’ 

In this construction, oblique case is assigned to the object. Compare example 9.8 
with 9.60. 

(9.59) .(*j Js\j A3 JolT i 

dd kabdl-0 na ray l-ay 

from... Kabul-M.OBL ...from come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

yam 

be.CONT.PRS.lSG 
‘I came from Kabul.’ 

(9.60) 4i jj $ i 

dd kor-0 na rayl-dm 

from... house-M.OBL ...from come.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I came from home.’ 

• JuN... i /da...lande/‘under’ 

(9.61) .jvj c~*»b (jJj')! j 

da sdy-e landi 

under... shadow-F.OBL ...under 

‘I am sitting in the shade.’ ®w) 

(9.62) .(js Ajj\ j 

dd yal-dy lande ob-d d.i 

under... carpet-F.OBL ...under water-PL.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.F 

‘There is water under the carpet.’ 

13 Tegey & Robson (1996:154ff.), who claim to describe a Northwest, Kabuli variety of Pashto, do 
not list j /da/ as a component of circumpositions, recognizing only the variant d /la/ as a possible 
components. Babrakzai (1999: 44), who claims to be describing the same variety, does give 
examples of circumpositions with j /da/. 


nast-0 ydm 

sitting-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG 



Circumpositions 


335 


This can also be expressed with N ... j /tar...lande/ (see 9.139), and with 
... aJ /la...lande/ (see 9.100). 

• a~^~~ ... i /da...tsaxa/ ‘from, on account of.’ For dialectal variants, see 9.102; for a 
postpositional use of a~^~ /tsaxa/, see 9.64. 

(9.63) . a^J- Jfj i 

da larg-i tsaxa 0-ber-ez-am 

from... stick-M.OBL ...from CONT-fear-PRS-lSG 

‘I am afraid of a beating [lit. I am afraid of the stick.]’ <m 

(9.64) . A^i Ajy\^ As*J>- La 

ma tsexa dre xa kitab-una sta 

1SG.STR.0BL from three good book-PL.M.DIR EXT 

‘I have three good books.’ 

• L$jjt ■■■ i /da...pore/ ‘up to’ 

(9.65) . Jiy> Aj ^$jjj ax^ji i 

dd dost-3 pore pa mo tar-0 ke wlar-am 

up.to... friend-M.ABL ...up.to in... car-M.OBL ...in go.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I went to my friend by car’ (NW) 

This relation can also be expressed with ijjji- • -J /tar...pore/, as in examples 
9.133 - 9.135. 

• i /da...sara/ ‘[combative] with’ 


(9.66) . ‘Cuivo j^y**<*^ a a 

da ahmad-0 sara kampyutar-0 na sta 

COMIT... Ahmad-M.OBL ...COMIT computer-M.DIR NEG EXT 

‘Ahmad doesn't have a computer.’ ( swj 

Note too the apparently synonymous phrase a^... aJ /la...sara/, which is exem¬ 
plified in Section 9.5.2.1. 

The following sentence exemplifies the common “joining with” use of a ^... a 
/da...sara/, as well as the idiomatic phrase a^ a] /la de sara/ ‘with this’, best 
translated as nonetheless or thereby (see also Section 11.4.4.7): 



336 


Adpositions 


(9.67) ^ ^ a Obu^j-U^ ^ l 5^" <-£*H^Ob~~S~lj 4j a a) 

. (_£^udj Aj a.X)jl 

la de sara ba pakistan-0 

COMIT... this.OBL ...COMIT WOULD Pakistan-M.DIR 

wa-tawan-eg-i ce da hindustan-0 sara la 

AOR-able-PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] COMP COMIT... India-M.OBL ...COMIT from 

pul-e xpal-0 pawck-ian da 

border-F.OBL own-PL.M.DIR force-PL.M.ANIM.DIR COMIT... 

dfyanistdn-0 sara ugd-a sarhad-0 ta 

Afghanistan-M.OBL ...COMIT long-M.OBL border-M.OBL to 

w-astaw-i 

AOR-send-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Nonetheless, Pakistan will be able to send their forces from the border with 
India to the long border with Afghanistan.’ 14 
The particle a^> /sara/ can appear independently and without an overt object, 
with interpretation determined by context. See Section 10.2.3.1 for more discussion and 
some examples. 


9.5.1.2 Middle dialect simple circumpositions with /ye/, /e/ 

A local variant of the GP preposition ai /da/ is Middle /de/, and it is the first component 
in many of the same circumpositions. However, it is less common in the Middle dialects 
than the variants /ye/ and /e/, which apparently vary freely with each other. Because 
the /de/ form is the less common, we are showing here the circumpositions using the 
more common variants /ye/~/e/. 

• /a...sara/ ‘[comitative] with’ 

Septfonds (1994: 5.1.2.4) notes that the postpositional component of this item can 
be heard as /sra/ and, less often, /sa/. 


14 Standardized version of9.67: J~>- d 0 ^ Ob—j-U* a 0b_v5T j d 

Ij 4j sj**' Ob^jbtii A 



Circumpositions 


337 


(9.68) kala kala xo e sar-0 xatar-0 

when when EMPH of head-M.OBL danger-M.DIR 

wi yane e marg-0 sara maxamax 

be.A0R.PRS.3SG.M that.is COMIT... death-M.OBL ...COMIT facing 

s-i 

become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Sometimes their head is in danger, that is, they are faced with death.’ <waz, 

He notes further that this item fulfills the a broad range of functions including asso¬ 
ciation, accompaniment, possession, and means. 

• /ye...na/ 

The circumposition /ye...na/ can be used with various functions associated with 
separation or differentiation, including marking the standard of comparison (com¬ 
pare GP 9.109): 

(9.69) e to na kasar-0 da 

than... 2SG.STR.0BL ...than young-M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Is he younger than you?’ (WAZ) 

Septfonds notes that this circumposition can work as in a malefactive-type construc¬ 
tion, to mark a participant who is involuntarily involved in and affected by an event. 

• /ye ... kra/‘at the home of’ 

This distinctive circumposition is translated as chez in Septfonds (1994: 267) and 
cited also by Lorimer (1902:39) as /de... kra/. We conjecture that this use, exempli¬ 
fied here, is related to GP phrases using forms of jS /kor/ ‘house’, as exemplified 
in sentences 9.151 and 9.8: 

(9.70) ye de mlo-0 kra wolma day 

at... of mullah-M.OBL ...the. home invited be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘He is invited to the mullah's.’ (DZA) 


9.5.1.3 Complex circumpositions with j /da/ 

As discussed in Section 9.3.1.2, the rule about positioning a phrase with j /da/ at 
the beginning of its noun phrase often results in the effect of a circumposition. As 
these examples show, the second component consists of an adpositional phrase with 
a complement-taking, often abstract or relational, nominal; the first component is that 
complement marked by j /da/. 

• ajLo ... i /da...da para/, ajb aJ ... j /da...la para/ ‘for, for the sake of’ 



338 


Adpositions 


(9.71) . Aj>- Aj ajlp 

mahmud-0 da ahmad-0 de par-a 

Mahmoud-M.DIR of Ahmad-M.OBL from sake-M.ABL 

darmaltun-0 ta wlar-0 ca darmal-0 

pharmacy-M.OBL to go.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M COMP medicine-M.DIR 

w-axl-i 

A0R-buy.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Mahmoud went to the pharmacy to buy medicine for Ahmad.’ (sw 
Verbal nouns within adpositional phrases may express the complements of verbs 
or, as in this example, nominalizations. Here the circumpositional phrase containing 
ajb a) ... j /da...la para/is the complement of a^5sjjj /prekra/‘decision’: 

(9.72) ^ 4 J^ J^ J 6jj ^ 

. aj a^Ssjjj Ax>t^ \J J ajji A; C—Ijj 

afyanistan-0 ta da dirs zar-a izafi 

Afghanistan-M.OBL to of thirty thousand-PL.M.DIR additional 

sartir-i da leg-al-o la par-a 

soldiers-M.OBL of send-INF-PL.M.OBL from sake-M.ABL 

prekra-0 ye da jamhuri riyasat-0 pa dawra-0 ke 

decision-F.DIR 3.WK of national office-M.OBL in... term-F.DIR ...in 

tar tul-o saxt-a prekra-0 wa 

up.to all-PL.M.OBL difficult-F.DIR decision-F.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.F 

‘The decision to send an additional thirty thousand soldiers to Afghanistan 
was the hardest decision of his presidential term.’ 


(9.73) ajj **^ o^aio ^ Aj Lj.* J-J- a 


da nuk-ano zuw-al-0 xayi 

of fingernail-PL.M.ANIM.OBL bite-INF-PL.M.DIR maybe 

masum-ano ta da taswis-uno aw xwabd-io 

child-PL.M.ANIM.OBL for of concern-PL.M.OBL and sadness-PL.F.OBL 


da tsargand-aw-al-o yaw-a lar-0 

of revealed-do-INF-PL.M.OBL one-F.DIR path-F.DIR 

wi 

be.AOR.PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Biting the fingernails may be a way for children to express concerns or 
distress.’ 



Circumpositions 


J ajL 4 j ... i /da...pa bara ke/ ‘about’ 


(9.74) . ^ a j^ “9 ^ 

da ahmad-0 pa bara-0 ki der-e 

of Ahmad-M.OBL in... subject-F.DIR ...in many-PL.F.DIR 

maqal-e lik-al saw-i 

article-PL.F.DIR write-INF become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.F.DIR 

di 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.F 

‘Many articles have been written about Ahmad.’ <sw) 

(9.75) . aIjS’j U 4j>- ^ ajb - 1 cF' 5 

day da musabiq-e pa bdm-0 ke 

3SG.M.STR.DIR of contest-F.OBL in... subject-F.DIR ...in 

0 -zay-ez-i ce ma tsanga 

C0NT-speak-PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] COMP 1SG.STR.0BL how 

wa-gat-al-a 

AOR-win-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘He is talking about how I won the race.’ <sw) 

i_jIj 4j ... i /da...pa bab/‘about’ 

(9.76) J 4j>- i_j(j 4j ^ 4j 

fdso swunk-i ta da zalm-i pa 

2PL.STR.OBL teacher-M.OBL to of Zalmay-M.OBL on 

bab-0 tsa 0-way-al-i 

subject-M what CONT-tell.PST-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 
di 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘What have you said about Zalmay to the teacher?’ 

4j ... i /da...pa ebay/ ‘instead of’ 



340 


Adpositions 


(9.77) . Aj Aj jlJk-CS*" Aj>- Aj ^ 

da kabul pa dzdy ca kandahar ta lar 

of Kabul in place.SG.M.DIR COMP Kandahar to go.PRS.AOR 

su sa ba wi 

be.PRS.AOR.IPL good WOULD be.AOR.PRS.3SG.M 

‘It will be better to go to Kandahar instead of Kabul.’ (S w) 

(9.78) . i jJ j Aj Lvs 3 

da zia-0 pa dzdy-0 bal-0 kas-0 

of Zia-M.OBL on place-M other-M.DIR person-M.DIR 

saw-ay day 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Someone else has been appointed instead of Zia.’ csw 


muqarar-0 

assigned-M.DIR 


4j... i /da...pa max ke/ ‘in front of’ 


This circumposition has more and less literal uses: 

(9.79) ! ^ a^> a?- aJ U ^ Aj 1 i 

da ahmad-0 pa max-0 ke ma ta tsa ma 

of Ahmad-M.OBL in... face-M ...in 1SG.STR.OBL to what NEG 

0-way-ay 
CONT-tell-IMP.PL 

‘Don't tell me anything in front of Ahmad!’ 


(9.80) . Jjj^j J Aj 2 

da sinf-0 pa max-0 ke wa-dar-id-0 

of class-M.OBL in... face-M ...in AOR-stop-PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘He stood in front of the class.’ 

Septfonds (1994) translates the Dzadrani collocation /pa max/ as ‘immediately’; 
a corresponding item in Waziri can be found in 9.81 below; note the variation in the 
location of the genitive phrase: 



Circumpositions 


341 


(9.81) da mol-ina ce kala ile der-0 

this.DIR goods-PL.M.DIR COMP when here much-PL.M.DIR 

s-i biya daya qacabar 

become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] then this.DIR smuggling 


xalak-0 daya mol-ina pa max-0 e 

people-PL.M.DIR this.DIR goods-PL.M.DIR on face-M of 


malk-0 nor-e star-e sar-e ta 

country-M.OBL other-PL.M.OBL large-PL.M.OBL city-PL.M.OBL to 


e rasaw-al-e kosas-0 0-k-i 

of send-INF-PL.M.OBL effort-M.DIR CONT-do.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 


‘When these goods become excessive in their area, then smugglers 
immediately try to send these goods to other big cities in the country.’ wad 


• \y~ (4j) ... i /da...(pa) xwa ke/‘alongside’ 

(9.82) ^ \j>~ (Aj) -W>-l i jiy* 

motar-0 da ahmad-0 (pa) xwa-0 ki ter-0 

car-M.DIR of Ahmad-M.OBL in... side-F ...in passed-M.DIR 

su-0 

become. AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘A car passed beside Ahmad.’ ( swj 

Both the version with the postposition and that without were acceptable to our 
speaker. 

• aL»I a) ... j /da...la amala/‘because of’(see also 9.84; 9.85) 


(9.83) . Obj Aj L* aJjsI aJ 2 

da ahmad-0 la amal-a ma ta zyan-0 

of Ahmad-M.OBL from cause-M.ABL 1SG.STR.OBL to loss-M.DIR 

wa-ras-ed-0 

AOR-arrive.PST-PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I have suffered much loss because of Ahmad.’ 



342 


Adpositions 


(9.84) . 4^4/i c— J Ol^—ol*i! 4j *d_d 4 J 2 

da jang-0 Id amal-a pa afyanistan-0 ke 

of war-M.OBL from cause-M.ABL in... Afghanistan-M.OBL ...in 

amniat-0 na sta 

security-M.DIR NEG EXT 

‘There is no security in Afghanistan because of the war.’ 


(9.85) a) 4»Lsl 4 J y>-\ji jjll>tXjl 4j 

J^l 0!^ I^T 1^-?^ 

loy-dy tsaranwal-ay pd intixabat-o ke dd 

large-F.OBL lawyer-F.OBL in... elections-PL.M.OBL ...in of 

suw-io prax-o ddryal-io Id 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.F.OBL vast-PL.F.OBL fraud-PL.F.OBL from 

amal-a Id stdr-e mahkam-e 

reason-M.ABL from high-F.OBL court-F.OBL 

0 -yuxt-i ce natayij-0 ye 

CONT-want.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR COMP results-PL.M.DIR 3.WK 

bat-dl elan kr-i 

invalidate-INF announcement do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘The Attorney General wanted the Supreme Court to declare the election 
results invalid due to widespread fraud.’ 

• Old aj ... ^ /da...pa san/ ‘like’ 

(9.86) . j*-* Old 4 j OU- j 

dd jan-0 pa san-0 asad-0 ham tapi 

of John-M.OBL INSTR manner-M Asad-M.DIR also wounded 

suw-ay ddy 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Like John, Asad too has been wounded.’ 

(9.87) O^S*" Old 4j ^ 

dd ahmad-0 pa san-0 kez-a 

of Ahmad-M.OBL INSTR manner-M become.CONT.PRS-IMP.SG 

ma 

NEG.IMP 

‘Don't be like Ahmad!’ (SW) 



Circumpositions 


343 


• jJ- 4j... j /da...pa tser/ ‘like’ 


(9.88) . ^^ 4j jlS' 4 ^j 2 

da mahmud-0 pa tser-0 ahmad-0 ham xa 

of Mahmoud-M.OBL INSTR sort-M Ahmad-M.DIR also good 

/car-0 nd kaw-i 

work-M.DIR NEG do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Like Mahmoud, Ahmad does not do good work.’ 

• jjJ aj ... i /da...pa lor/ ‘towards’ 

(9.89) -(S^ i 

da amrikd-0 pa lor-0 rawan-0 

of America-F.OBL on direction-M in.motion-M.DIR 

saw-ay day 

become.AOR.PST-PTCRM.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘He is heading towards America.’ 

(9.90) . Oljj ^ 

afyanistan-0 da taraq-ay pa lor-0 

Afghanistan-M.DIR of development-F.OBL on direction-M 

rawan-0 saw-ay day 

in.motion-M.DIR become.PST.AOR-SG.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Afghanistan has been moving towards development.’ 

• ly- a)... j /da. ..la xwa/‘by’ 

This circumposition may be used to mark the agent of an action when it is not the 
subject, as in denominal verb constructions (see Section 8.2.5.5.2 and Section 11.3.1.5). 
This is exemplified in 9.91 and 9.92 below. It may also mark the agent of a nominalized 
form of a verb, as in sentence 9.94. 

(9.91) 

da polis-0 la xwa-0 kor-0 ye mahasra 

of police-PL.M.DIR from side-F.OBL house-M.DIR 3.WK surrounded 

saw-0 

become. AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘His house was surrounded by police.’ 



344 


Adpositions 


(9.92) . \ S \ * ajjJu^ tata-' Aj 'jj j}j 2 

da mazhabi dal-o la xwa-0 war ta said 

of religious group-PL.F.OBL from side-F.OBL 3 to advice 

maswar-a warkaw-al kig-i 

advice-SG.M.DIR give-INF do.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Advice is being given to them from religious groups.’ 15 

(9.93) yy y &yj Aj aAa 

haya pa bira-0 dzan-0 tar sirin-ay 

3SG.M.STR.0BL INSTR haste-F.DIR self-M.DIR up.to Shiranai-M.OBL 

6-rasaw-al-u 

AOR-deliver-PST-PST.SG.M 

‘He hurriedly got himself near Shirinai.’ 

(9.94) a_jl Aj ^ijL* i i AS’jj Aj yyJj jy^>- 2 

. a^Ssjj AJj^Lj 2 !y- aJ (So jfi\ i 

da rusiy-e jumhor-0 rais-0 pa mustaqima-0 

of Russian-F.OBL republic-M.OBL president-M.OBL INSTR direct-F.DIR 

toga-0 da mosko-0 da damokrds-ay da sabaq-e 

manner-F.DIR of Moscow-M.OBL of democracy-F.OBL of history-F.OBL 

pa ara-0 da amrika-0 la xwa-0 da 

on topic-F.DIR of America-F.OBL from side-F.OBL of 

intiqad-uno yadawana-0 wa-na lq-a 

criticism-PL.M.OBL statement-F.DIR AOR-NEG do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

‘Criticisms from America regarding Moscow's history with democracy were 
not directly mentioned by the Russian president.’ 

This circumposition may also express origin: 

(9.95) .fes \y~ aJ i lXJ ta 

da lik-0 da ahmad-0 la xwa-0 

this.DIR letter-M.DIR of Ahmad-M.OBL from side-F.OBL 

rayl-ay day 

come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘This letter came from Ahmad.’ (S w) 

15 Standardized version of 9.92: "A- tijj l_p- d yA-k* a 



Circumpositions 


345 


<d...j /da... la lure/ ‘by’ 

Like !y- aJ ... i /da la xwa/ ‘by’, this circumposition can also be used to indicate 
an agent. 

(9.96) a) jz^ ^ ^ jjjzb ^ 

. <J^ jj <iLT 

ter-0 /cd/-0 da malgr-o milat-uno da 

passed-M.DIR year-M.DIR of friend-PL.M.OBL nation-PL.M.OBL of 

amniat sura-0 la lur-e da irdn-0 da atomi 

security council-F.OBL from side-F.OBL of Iran-M.OBL of atomic 

faliat-o la kabal-a par de haywad-0 ke 

activities-PL.M.OBL from cause-M.ABL in... this.OBL country-M ...in 

waza swu-al 

established become.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘[The sanctions] were implemented last year in Iran by the United Nations 
Security Council.’ 

(9.97) . y^ tJjjj c -' y^ - ’' j—^ 1 

yaw-0 sarraf-0 da yal-o la lur-e 

one-M.DIR banker-M.DIR of thief-PL.M.OBL from side-F.OBL 

wa-waz-al su-0 

AOR-kill-INF become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘A banker was killed by thieves.’ 



346 


Adpositions 


(9.98) J Aj c ^j>- AJj (_£a^i" AA® a) Oljjta Ljlx; 

t 0/ L ^ '_X^ J A L ^ ‘ L \ ^ 

britanya-0 da irdn-0 la lur-e haya 

Britain-F.OBL of Iran-M.OBL from side-F.OBL this.DIR 


xapura-0 suw-e widiyowi pata-0 

broadcast-F.DIR become.AOR.PST-PTCRF.DIR videotaped document-F.DIR 

ce pa ke niw-al suw-i 15 

COMP in.in seize-INF become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 15 

britanawi samandari sartir-i xud-al 

British marine soldier-PL.M.DIR show-INF 


ldg-i mahkum kr-a 

become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] condemned do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

‘Britain condemned a video tape broadcast by Iran in which 15 captured Naval 
soldiers were shown.’ 16 


9.5.2 General Pashto circumpositions with aJ /la/ 

Many grammars describe aJ /la/ as a variant of a /da/ that can appear in circumposi- 
tions. The postpositional component is the one to look to for the meaning information, 
as shown in Examples 9.99 - 9.102. 


9.5.2.1 GP simple circumpositions with aJ /la/ 

What follows are the most commonly encountered simple circumpositions starting 
with aJ /la/. 

• a ... aJ /la...sara/ ‘[comitative] with’ 

(9.99) . J a •CoJ'-t a) 

la ahmad-0 sara me xabar-e 

COMIT... Ahmad-M.OBL ...COMIT 1SG.WK word-PL.F.DIR 

wa-kar-e 

AOR-do.AOR-PST.3PL.F 
‘I talked with Ahmad.’ 


16 Standardized version of 9.98: ^ a*a ^ Oljjl a 

. ' S J - J?y ^ J 



Circumpositions 


347 


In NE and NW dialects, it is possible to omit the prepositional component, leaving 
the postposition a^ /sara/ (Tegey & Robson, 1996:155-156). Compare also the func¬ 
tion of a /sara/ that appears without an object; see Section 10.2.3.1. 

. . aJ /la...lande/ under, from below 

(9.100) ,<j;s aJ s (i) b 

pakistan-0 do haml-o Id 

Pakistan-M.DIR of attack-PL.F.OBL under. 

di 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 
‘Pakistan is under pressure of attack.’ 

.. aJ /la...tsaxa/ ‘from, on account of’. See also 9.103. For a variant with the 
prepositions /da/,see 9.63. 

(9.101) JipIj as^- JjIS" aJ 

Id kabdl-0 tsdxa rayl-ay 

from... Kabul-M.OBL ...from come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

yom 

be.CONT.PRS-lSG 
‘I have come from Kabul.’ 

(9.102) a^ J) aJ 

Id larg-i tsdxd 0-dar-eg-om 

from... stick-M.OBL ...from CONT-fear-PRS-lSG 

‘I am afraid of a beating [lit. I am afraid of the stick].’ ( nwj 


fisar-uno lande 

.. pressure-PL.M.OBL ...under 


(9.103) 




•Li 




sah-0 mahmud-0 Id sar-0 tsoxe taj-0 

Shah-M.OBL Mahmud-M.OBL from... head-M.OBL ...from crown-M.DIR 


ista kor-0 aw hits waxt po sahi taxt-0 

removed do.AOR-PST.3SG.M and none time on royal stage-M 

kxe-ne-nast-0 

AOR\sit-NEG-sit.PST-PST.3SG.M 


‘Shah Mahmud disavowed his royal birthright and never assumed the throne.’ 



348 


Adpositions 


• 43.. .aJ /la...na/ from 

The circumposition 43.. . 4 ) /la...na/ is the most common simple circumposition 
starting with 4 ! /la/, 17 and it is also used with complex circumpositions, as shown 
in Section 9.5.2.2. It typically indicates motion away or separation from. The follow¬ 
ing two examples show how the postposition 43 /na/ alternates with the ablative 
case-marker 4 _ /-a/: the two items may not co-occur. 

(9.104) . 43 aJ 

Id kor-0 na rayl-dm 

from... house-M.OBL ...from come.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I came from home.’ 

(9.105) .jjplj aJ 

Id kor-a rayl-dm 

from house-M.ABL come.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I came from home.’ 

In the NE and NW dialects, it is possible to omit the prepositional component of this 
circumposition in informal speech (Tegey & Robson, 1996:155). Compare 9.106 and 
9.107. 

(9.106) . 43 jy 4J y ^J\€ 

kal-i mi Id motdr-0 na 

clothes-M.DIR 1SG.WK from... car-M.OBL ...from 

w-axist-d 

AOR-take.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘I took the clothes out of the car.’ 

(9.107) .4C^lj 43 Jy y J\f 

kal-i mi motdr-0 na w-axist-d 

clothes-PL.M.DIR 1SG.WK car-M.OBL from AOR-take.PST-PST.SG.M 

‘I took the clothes out of the car.’ (NE,NW) 

In sentence 9.108, which is ungrammatical, the ablative marker cannot appear with¬ 
out an adposition governing it. 


17 For Babrakzai (1999: 42), this circumposition is unacceptable; only the two forms 4i ... ^ 
/da...na/and 4 ! /la/exist. 



Circumpositions 


349 


(9.108) ‘Jr ^ J^ * 

kal-i mi motar-a w-axist-a 

clothes-PL.M.DIR 1SG.WK car-M.ABL A0R-take.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘I took the clothes out of the car.’ 

The full form of the circumposition a;... aJ /la...na/ is also the most common way to 
make comparative statements in Pashto; for another construction, see the examples 
in Section 9.3.5 (from Tegey & Robson 1996:162). 

(9.109) *0 aJ 

afyanistan-0 la frdns-e na yat-0 

Afghanistan-M.DIR from... France-M.OBL ...from big-M.DIR 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 
‘Afghanistan is larger than France.’ 

Quantitative comparatives such as more than and less than are created using the 
circumposition a; ... aJ /la...na/ followed by oLj /zyat/ ‘more’, /der/‘very’or 
J /lag/ ‘less, few’. 


(9.110) . aj 4j * 4 ) aj 

za la mahmud-0 na laz-0 

1SG.STR.DIR from... Mahmoud-M.OBL ...from few-PL.M.DIR 

kitab-una 0-lar-am 
book-PL.M.DIR CONT-have.PRS-lSG 

‘I have fewer books than Mahmoud.’ 


(9.111) . j *J aJ a j 

za la mahmud-0 na der-i 

1SG.STR.DIR from... Mahmoud-M.OBL ...from many-PL.F.DIR 

zyat-i pays-e 0-lar-am 

more-PL.F.DIR coin-PL.F.DIR CONT-have.PRS-lSG 

‘I have much more money than Mahmoud.’ 

Similarly, the circumposition aj. .. aJ /la...na/ can be used in Pashto to create su¬ 
perlative constructions. For the superlative construction, the object of the circum¬ 
position must be preceded by a universal quantifier such as jJjJ /tolo/ ‘all’. The 
object appears in the oblique case (Tegey & Robson, 1996:155). 



350 


Adpositions 


(9.112) 43 a) ^ 

mahmud-0 la tol-o na poh-0 

Mahmoud-M.DIR from... all-PL.OBL ...from smart-M.DIR 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Mahmoud is the smartest of all/Mahmoud is smarter than all [of them].’ 

(9.113) . (^£2 43 J^Jri 4i 2 

da mahmud-0 kor-0 la tol-o na 

of Mahmoud-M.OBL house-M.DIR from... all-PL.OBL ...from 

Iw-ay day 

big-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Mahmoud's house is the biggest/Mahmoud's house is bigger than all [other 
houses].’ 


9.5.2.2 GP complexcircumpositions with 43.. . 4 ] /la...na/ 

The circumposition 43.. . 4 J /la...na/ frequently combines with other adpositions or 
adverbs to form complex circumpositions. Together they govern the item between the 
two sets of ellipses. Most of the time, 43... 4 ] /la...na/ does not contribute any meaning 
beyond the meaning of the other element. Furthermore, it may assign case somewhat 
irregularly. Traditionally, the postposition 43 /na/ governs oblique case-marking on its 
object; however, this object may sometimes appear in the ablative case form. 

• \y>xj 43... 4 ] /la...na paxwa/ ‘before’ [ /paxwa/ ‘before’ ] 

(9.114) 43 4 J 

ahmad-0 la ma na paxwa 

Ahmad-M.DIR from... 1SG.STR.OBL ...from before 

rayl-ay day 

come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Ahmad has come before me.’ 


j 43... 4 J /la...na bahar/ ‘out of, outside of’ [ j /bahar/ ‘outside’ ] 



Circumpositions 


351 


(9.115) . <_£.s Aj jjfi a) J-o^-1 

ahmad-0 la kor-0 na bahar 

Ahmad-M.DIR from... house-M.OBL ...from outside 

0-watal-ay day 

CONT-leave.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Ahmad has come out of the house.’ 

Aj... aJ ^ /be la...na/ without [ ^ /be/‘without’] 

(9.116) . AJ b aJ 

he la ta na wlar-am 

without from... 2SG.STR.OBL ...from go.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I went without you.’ 

Aj... aJ Ajj /prata la...na/ except for [ aJj /prata/ ‘except’ ] 

(9.117) . j J-Jajj . s ' y>- ^ Aj aJ Ajjj 

prata la ahmad-0 na me bal-0 

except from... Ahmad-M.OBL ...from 1SG.WK other-PL.M.DIR 

tsok-0 wa-na lid-al 

who.DIR AOR-NEG see.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘I didn't see anybody except for Ahmad.’ 

(aj)...aJ /wrusta la...(na)/‘after’[ as*- jjj /wrusta/‘after, later’; See Table 

10 . 1 ] 

The item as*-jjj /wrusta/ ‘after, later’ exemplifies some of the complexity of the 
system of adpositions. Besides being identifiable as an adverb, it appears to be an 
ambiposition in that it can appear as either a prepositional or a postpositional com¬ 
ponent of circumpositions. We find (aj). . .a) as*-jjj /wrusta la...(na)/ next to 
/la...(na) wrusta/, as well as /da...(na) wrusta/ (see 9.118 and 9.119). 



352 


Adpositions 


(9.118) J a^l 4 j jl J ^ A^JJJ 43 CSjS - 

. aiyji a^lp 4 j 

da ray-e gir-i na wrusta ye dd 

from... vote-F.OBL collection-F.OBL ...from after 3.WK of 

tag-i bragi aw raswat-0 xor-i pa ara-0 

cheat-M.OBL ECHO and bribe-M.OBL eating-F.OBL INSTR topic-F.DIR 

da tahqiq-ato masuliat-0 pa yarn-0 

of research-PL.M.OBL responsibility-M.DIR INSTR neck-F.DIR 

darlod-0 

have. AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘He had the responsibility of investigating bribery and cheating after the 
election.’ 

(9.119) • 43 ijlj 4 ) oljjl i 4 j A^jjj (_£.i aJ 

la de wrusta ba da iran-0 la lur-e 

from this.OBL after WOULD of Iran-M.OBL from side-F.OBL 

tal-0 wared-0 na kr-u 

fuel-M.DIR imported-M.DIR NEG do.AOR-IPL 

‘After this, we won't import fuel through Iran.’ 18 

As the parentheses indicate, the element /na/ is apparently optional in all three 
versions. See also 9.140 and the examples that follow it for another variant using 
the adposition /wrusta/. 

(9.120) . jjJ Ij a) aj 

za wrusta la ta nanawat-al-am 

1SG.STR.DIR after from 2SG.STR.OBL AOR\enter-PST-lSG 

‘I entered after you.’ 


18 Standardized version of 9.119: .jS <u ajlj Jj d Oljjl a <o jjj <_£a ol 



Circumpositions 


353 


(9.121) Juj aJ j 

ji 

. (_J ^ Jyy ^ ^ Oy*A AJ>iJA>Ij AAA^-' ij & 

da haye naxat-e pa trats-0 ke ce ... da 

of that.OBL dispute-F.OBL in... interval-M ...in COMP ... of 

polis-o par yaw post-e da balwagar-o la 

police-PL.M.OBL on one post-F.OBL of attacker-PL.M.OBL from 

brid-0 wrusta ra-mdruk ta sw-a dwa 

attack-M.OBL after 1-center to become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.F two 

tan-a balwagar-0 wa-waz-al 

person-PL.M.DIR attacker-PL.M.DIR AOR-kill-INF 

sw-al 

become.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘Two insurgents were killed in a fight which broke out after they attacked a 
police station.’ 19 

The following example shows the usual form of clausal complements of adpositions: 
a demonstrative head and an embedded clause introduced by the complementizer 
a>- /ca/. 

(9.122) .J-*^ Aj Aj ja Aj>- aJ A^jjjjj 

wrusta la de ca dod : ay mo 

after from this.OBL COMP food-F.DIR 1PL.WK 

wa-xor-a sinima-0 ta ba lar-0 

AOR-eat.PST-PST.3SG.F cinema-F.OBL to WOULD gone-PL.M.DIR 

s-u 

become.AOR.PRS-IPL 

‘We will go to the movies after we eat dinner.’ (sw 


9.5.3 Circumpositions with aj /pa/ 

Circumpositions with aj /pa/ denote an entity’s relationship to another’s; these rela¬ 
tions may be physical, temporal, or causal. A selection of circumpositions with aj /pa/ 
follows: 


19 Standardized version of 9.121: aJ jjSTjL a aa_jj y_ y_ j—J jj a ... ^ y 4 j a 

. (J yZ. J^\jJJ Ajj JO SyZ. y AA~.JjJ Jj y 



354 


Adpositions 


• ... 4 j /pa...ke/ ‘in, into, on, at’ 

In addition to the variation that one can find in the pronunciation of the preposi¬ 
tional component, the postpositional component. 4 j /ke/ is also subject to substan¬ 
tial variation in pronunciation: various scholars have cited /kxe/, /kge/ (Henderson, 
1970) and /ki/. 

This very common circumposition indicates a very wide range of relative locations 
of juxtaposition (Hewson & Bubenik, 2006:150); mostly, the specific relationship 
must be inferred from the context. It appears not to permit direct case-marking on 
its object. See 9.121 for a temporal meaning of this circumposition, and see 9.160 
for an example of this circumposition in construction with an omitted object. The 
example 9.98 shows this circumposition with a null object, introducing a relative 
clause. 

(9.123) ^ 4j 

mahmud-0 pa sinf-0 ke day 

Mahmoud-M.DIR in... class-M.OBL ...in be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Mahmoud is in class.’ 

Example 9.26 shows the use of the circumposition ... 4 j /pa...ke/ and the prepo¬ 
sition 4 j /pa/ in the same clause, where the prepositional phrase is modifying the 
circumpositional phrase. 

Hewson & Bubenik (2006:153) claim that /ke/ ‘in, into’ can function indepen¬ 
dently as a postposition, a claim that is supported by our research. There is evidence, 
however, that it is much rarer than the circumposition (given that it lacks separate 
description), that it is restricted to the Eastern dialects (Pashtoon, 2009), or that its 
appearance is restricted to certain kinds of usage. 

• GP ^ j. .. 4j /pa...pase/ ‘after’ 

(9.124) \aJ~\j U 4j 

pa ma pase rack-a 

after... 1SG.STR.OBL ...after come.CONT.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Come after me!’ 



Circumpositions 


355 


(9.125) lejf (JjS- (Sjji 

pa ma pase der-e xabr-e ma 

after... 1SG.STR.0BL ...after many-PL.F.DIR word-PL.F.DIR NEG 

kaw-a 

do.CONT-IMP.SG 
‘Don't backbite me!’ 

For a variant of this form in which /peso/ acts as a preposition, see 9.126. 
The Dzadrani item /pa...se/ ‘after, because of’ corresponds to the GP .. aj 
/pa...pase/ ‘after’ (Septfonds, 1994). 

(9.126) a] ^ 

pas la de 
after from this.OBL 

‘after this’ 

(9.127) za xo pa madrasa-0 

1SG.STR.DIR EMPH in... mosque-F.DIR 

0-k-a 

CONT-do.PRS-lSG 

‘I am studying in the mosque school.’ (WAZ) 

• GP^JjLj. . ,4j /pa...bande/ 

Septfonds (1994) transcribes the second component /bonde/, and this variant ap¬ 
parently exists in other varieties of Pashto as well; see notes at example 9.130 for 
conditions on its appearance in Dzadrani. 

Hewson & Bubenik (2006:151) gloss this circumposition as an adverb ‘up’, but our 
research has not substantiated this meaning. 

This circumposition may also appear with the variant^ /par/ as its first component. 

(9.128) • Aj 

pa mez-0 bande der-0 qalam-una 

on... table-M.OBL ...on many-PL.M.DIR pen-PL.M.DIR 

di 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘There are many pens on the table.’ 


se tadris dars-0 
...in study study-M.DIR 



356 


Adpositions 


An instrumental/means/manner function of .. aj /pa...bande/ is exemplified 

in 9.129 below. 

(9.129) . ^ l ■ ss A JJ jj aS*jj 4j>- 4j aS^jj 4j>- 4j Lujj 

no biya pa tsa werk-a pa tsa 

therefore then INSTR what exchange-F.DIR INSTR... what 

rok-a bonde faysal-a 

exchange-F.DIR ...INSTR decision-F.DIR 

wa-s-i 

AOR.PRS-become.AOR.PRS.-PRS.3SG.F 
‘The matter is resolved by give-and-take.’ 

The Middle dialect circumposition /pa...nde/ ‘at, on’ (also pronounced /pa...ne/) 
corresponds to GP^JJL... <b /pa...bande/; the latter is found in poetic registers in 
these Middle varieties, according to Septfonds (1994). 

(9.130) ce da pa zelot-on nde 

COMP 3SG.M.STR.OBL on... excutioner-PL.M.DIR ...on 

yag-0 0-k-a 

voice-M.DIR CONT-do.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Him, he got ready to call the executioners.’ cdzaj 

A meaning related to this one involves an animate object of this circumposition. Un¬ 
der these conditions, the object of ^Jjb. .. 4 j /pa...bande/ designates the proximal 
actor of the named activity, while the grammatical subject designates a causer or en¬ 
abler of the entire event. See Section 9.7.3 for more discussion and an example. 

There are dialects in which the first component 4 j /pa/ may be omitted, so /bande/ 
functions as a postposition. See 9.131 for an example of the locative meaning, and 
9.157 for an example of the instrumental function. 

(9.131) .£$2 jj ^ 

kitab-0 mi war bandi is-ay 

book-M.DIR 1SG.WK 3 on CONT\put.PST-PTCP.M.DIR 

day 

be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M 
‘I put the book on it.’ (S w) 

• a j** ... 4 j /pa ... sara/ ‘[instrumental] with’ 



Circumpositions 


357 


(9.132) . 4j (j£ Ijj>- Uj 

zmfl zawan-ay dawal-0 kaw-i pa 

1SG.STR.POSS youth-F.DIR manner-M.DIR do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.F] INSTR... 

paxtunwala sara 
Pashtunwali ...INSTR 

‘My youth manifests itself in Pashtunwali.’ ( ne > 20 

9.5.4 Circumpositions with j /tar/ 

The form j /tar/ is most often found as the first component of several circumpositions 
that indicate a movement up to a terminal point in time or space. For a discussion of 
ablative case assignment to its object, see Section 5.I.3.3. For a variant of j /tar/, see 
Section 9.6.1. 

• iSjy, («)• • ■ y /tar...pore/ ‘up to, until’ 21 

Where Standard Pashto uses iSjy, («)... y /tar...pore/, the corresponding circum- 
position in Dzadrani is pronounced /tar... pera/ or /tar ... pere/ (Septfonds, 1997). 
This is in keeping with the alternation between GP /o/ and M /e/ that is illustrated 
in Table 4.5. 

(9.133) lobb '^ y 

tar sabd-0 pore da xoda pamdn-0 

until... morning-F.OBL ...until of God with.protection-M.DIR 

‘See you tomorrow! [lit. until tomorrow, with God's protection].’ 

(9.134) ijjjj aLIT j 

tar kdbal-a pore 

up.to... Kabul-M.ABL ...up.to 

‘as far as Kabul’ 

In the Western dialects, the postposition jjj /pori/ may be omitted from this cir- 
cumposition in speech, rendering a prepositional phrase. 


20 Our thanks to James Caron for this example, which he attributed to the Jalalabad poet Malang 
Jan. 

21 Henderson (1970) additionally cites ‘hence’ as a translation of this term. 



358 


Adpositions 


(9.135) iji (iSjji) i Sx* j 

tar sar-i (pore) di wa-sarmaw-al-am 

up.to... man-M.OBL (...up.to) 2.WK AOR-shame-PST-lSG 

‘You shamed me in front of the man.’ ( nw) 

(9.136) . f aj jl 

tar plar-a (pori) pa manda-0 wlar-am 

up.to... father-M.ABL (...up.to) INSTR run-F.DIR go.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I ran to my father.’ (S w) 

y>- jj /tar tso ca /J ; /tar hayaca/‘until’ 

These two expressions both convey temporal relations, and both can introduce sub¬ 
ordinate clauses: see 9.137 and 9.138. The translation ‘until’ incorporates the negated 
assertion in the subordinate clause. 

(9.137) . £ 4jj 0 jjULj 4j Ls 4j>- Ji 4j 4 j oj 

2 a iiaye ta lik-0 nd 0-lez-am 

1SG.STR.DIR 3SG.F.STR.OBL to letter-SG.M.DIR NEG CONT-send-lSG 

tar tso ca ma ta telifun-0 wa-na 

up.to how.much COMP 1SG.STR.OBL to telephone-M.DIR AOR-NEG 

kr-i 

do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘I am not writing to her until she calls me.’ (S w) 

(9.138) Aj \SZjZ ^ Aj 45 aAa y 

tar tiaya ci ta nd ye 

up.to this.OBL COMP 2SG.STR.DIR NEG be.CONT.PRS.2SG 

rdyl-ay dod-ay nd 0-xur-am 

come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR food-F.DIR NEG CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

‘Until you have arrived, I will not eat.’ asm 


(a)... j /tar...lande/ ‘under’ 



Circumpositions 


359 


(9.139) aL y <■£y* 

sar-ay tar pl-a lande 

man-M.DIR under... bridge-M.OBL . ..under 

day 

be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M 
‘The man is sitting under the bridge.’ 

The Dzadrani circumposition /tar.Jonde/ corresponds to the GP item .. y 

/tar...lande/ ‘under’, and is attested in Dzadrani as appearing both with and without 
an object, i.e. as both an adposition and an adverb (see also Table 10.2). 

• ... J /tar ... wrusta/‘after’(Hewson & Bubenik, 2006). These authors 

provide the following examples in comparing this item with the circumposition /la 
... wrusta/ exemplified herein; see also 9.121 and 9.120. 

(9.140) tar dwa tsalwist kal-uno wrusta 

after... two forty year-PL.M.OBL ...after 

‘after forty-two years’ 

(9.141) wrusta tar spag-o myast-o 

after after six-PL.F.OBL month-PL.F.OBL 

‘after six months’ 

(9.142) tar xwar-al-o wrusta 

after... eat-INF-PL.M.OBL ...after 

‘after eating’ 


nast-0 

sitting-M.DIR 


9.5.5 A Middle dialect circumposition with j /wa/ 

The independent preposition j /wa/ is not discussed here, since it has been described 
as obsolescent (Trumpp, 1873: 85) or only poetic (Skalmowski, 1996). 

There appears to be only one circumposition with j /wa/ (also sometimes tran¬ 
scribed as /vu/—see Section 3.2.1.2) as its first component, and it is not common in 
General Pashto, although it is cited by Lorimer (1902) as a variant of the postposition 
4 j /ta/. Skalmowski (1996) cites another variant, the compound postposition j /wa 
ta/. 



360 


Adpositions 


(9.143) . a) Aj jJj yj 2 Aj jLa J Aj 

dayase xalk-o ta wa xdr-0 ta dd 

those.same people-PL.M.OBL to to... city-M.OBL ...to of 

ndndwat-dl-o ejaza-0 na warkaw-dl-a 

enter-INF-PL.M.OBL permission-F.DIR NEG give-INF-SG.F.DIR 


keg-i 

become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 


‘Permission to enter the city is not being given to those [same] people.’ 22 


9.6 Coalesced adpositional phrases 

9.6.1 Pro-adpositional phrases 

Tegey (1977: 35ff.) lists three adpositions that may govern null objects: j; aj /pa ke/ 
‘on.3’ ( /pakge/ in the Kandahar dialect, according to Pate 2012), /pa/ ~ /pre/ 
~ /pe/ ‘on.3’, and /tre/ ‘up.to.3’. Tegey terms these “Pro-Pre/Postpositional Phrases” 
and analyzes them as incorporating third person definite objects, an analysis which 
reflects the requirement that the incorporated object be recoverable from the discourse 
or extralinguistic context. Pate (2012: 23), in contrast, analyzes these items as weak 
pronouns that are constrained to function as non-nuclear terms. 

There is apparently dialect-based variation on the inventory of these items: Pate 
(2012) additionally lists the Kandahari form /dzine/ ‘from.3’ as an object-incorporating 
form corresponding to the circumposition a... j /da ... tsaxa/ ‘from’. 

The pronunciation /pe/ instead of /pre/ (Section 9.6.1) is cited by Lorimer 
(1902: 40) as a characteristic of Waziri. 

(9.144) . aj (_£jj Uj 

zma tre na bad rack-i 

1SG.STR.POSS up.to.3.up.to bad come.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘I don't like him.’ 

(9.145) . iJjjj (Jy 

tre pori wlar-dm 

up.to.3.up.to go.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I went up to it.’ (NW) 


22 Standardized version of 9.143: . d £ j*, <c sjU-l jhyj a jLa. j 



Coalesced adpositional phrases 


361 


The following examples show that both <_£/pre/ andjj /par/ are possible in the 
same context; this suggests that there is a lexical distinction between the fused forms 
and the forms that allow a null object. 

(9.146) . jvj aj 

za pre 

1SG.STR.DIR on.3 

‘I am sitting on it.’ 

(9.147) . jj aj 

zd par spor-0 yam 

1SG.STR.DIR on sitting-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG 

‘I am sitting on it.’ ( s W) 

The relative order of the pro-adpositional phrase and the negative in examples 
9.148 and 9.149 lends support to the alternative analysis given by Pate (2012) of these 
forms as essentially pronominal rather than essentially adpositional, since the form in¬ 
corporating the third person assumes second position, as is characteristic of the weak 
pronouns: 

(9.148) . ^ aj 

za pe na 

1SG.STR.DIR on.3 NEG 

‘I don't understand it.’ 

(9.149) . 4j 4j aj 

za na pa 0-poh-ez-am 

1SG.STR.DIR NEG on CONT-learned-PRS-lSG 

‘I don't understand it.’ isw, 


0-poh-ez-am 

CONT-learned-PRS-lSG 


spor-0 yam 

sitting-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG 


9.6.2 The adpositional phrase sjZ /kara/‘at the home of’ 

a S /kara/ is a pro-adpositional phrase related to the noun jjz /kor/ ‘house’ that 
may appear just in case the house’s possessor is identified or recoverable. This form 
optionally replaces ^ /kor ta/. Compare sentences 9.150 and 9.151; see 9.70 for the 
corresponding construction in Dzadrani. 



362 


Adpositions 


(9.150) Aj j/ 

zmuz kor-0 ta mihman-an 

1PL.STR.0BL house-M.OBL to guest-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

rayl-i di 

come.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘Guests came to our house.’ 


(9.151) 

zmuz kar-a mihman-an 

1PL.STR.0BL house-M.ABL guest-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

rayl-i di 

come.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘Guests came to our house.’ 

Additionally, the special form sjZ /kara/ can be used instead of ^ aj /pa 
kor ke/, as shown in this pair. 

(9.152) . (_£.S J JjS” Aj i 

ahmad-0 dd mahmud-0 pa kor-0 ke 

Ahmad-M.DIR of Mahmoud-M.OBL in... house-M.OBL ...in 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Ahmad is at Mahmoud's house.’ 


(9.153) .(S^ a i 2 


ahmad-0 da mahmud-0 
Ahmad-M.DIR of Mahmoud-M.OBL 


kar-a day 

house-M.ABL be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 


‘Ahmad is at Mahmoud's house.’ 


9.7 Adposition usage 

Throughout this chapter and others, we describe various exceptional or idiosyncratic 
interactions of adpositions with particular pronouns and nouns that they govern. We 
summarize some important ones here. 



Adposition usage 


363 


9.7.1 aj /na/ vs. ablative case-marking on object 

Elsewhere we observe that the postpositional component Aj /na/ alternates in usage 
with ablative case-marking on the noun object. Compare sentences 9.8 and 9.60. 


9.7.2 a /da/ and strong pronoun objects 

In Section 9.3.1.1, we observed that in some dialects the preposition j /da/ assimilates 
to a following strong pronoun in the first and second persons. In those dialects, the 
sequence of j /da/ and the pronoun is unacceptable and the fused form is the only 
possible form. This is discussed in Section 7.2.3. 


9.7.3 4j /pa/and ^jjL. . ,4j /(pa...) bande/used in a causative construction 

In Section 11.5 we describe a causative construction that involves one or another verb 
of causation and a subordinate clause describing the caused event. However, there is 
also a use of aj /pa/ and ^JjL... aj /pa...bande/ that requires a causative interpre¬ 
tation of the sentence it appears in, even though there is no overt expression of cau¬ 
sation, either with another verb or with an affix. In Pashto, the object of ^JjL... aj 
/ pa...bande/ refers to the proximate agent, and the grammatical subject, if present, 
refers to ultimate agent. 

(9.154) . j ) j»\ U Aj ^ 

sar-ay pa ma as-0 

man-M.DIR INSTR 1SG.STR.OBL horse-M.DIR 

‘The man makes me tie up the horse.’ 

(9.155) . aJi j Aj iS^ 

sar-i pa ma 

man-M.OBL INSTR... 1SG.STR.0BL 

wa-tar-a 

A0R-tie-PST.3SG.M 
‘The man made me tie up the horse.’ 

(9.156) .Sj_p- Aj 

pa xwax-e de 0-xor-a 

INSTR mother.in.law-F 2.WK CONT-eat.PRS-IMP.SG 


bande as-0 
...INSTR horse-M.DIR 


0-tar-i 

CONT-tie-PRS.3 


‘Get your mother-in-law to eat [it].’ 



364 


Adpositions 


In some dialects, the first part of the circumposition is optional; in this case, the 
postposition alone can fulfil the same function in this construction. 

(9.157) . AlSsj-j 

/lay3 bande me cay-0 wa-tsak-l-a 

3SG.STR.OBL INSTR l.SG.WK tea-M.DIR. AOR-drink-PST.PST.3SG.M 

‘I got him a cup of tea to drink.’ » 


9.7.4 Omission of pronoun objects of adpositions 

As noted in Section 7.3.2, weak pronouns may not appear as objects of adpositions. The 
following examples demonstrate that weak pronouns cannot appear as the object of 
an adposition as shown in the ungrammatical example 9.158; compare this with the 
acceptable 9.159, using the strong pronoun. 

(9.158) . ji * 

par di 0-xej-am 
on 2.WK CONT-step.PRS-lSG 

‘I step on you.’ (S w) 

(9.159) j 

par ta 0-xej-am 

on 2SG.STR CONT-step.PRS-lSG 

‘I step on you.’ ( swj 

The object can be omitted entirely if it is known or can be recovered from the con¬ 
text, as in 9.160. 23 

(9.160) . AjjI J 4j 

pa ke ob-a w-acaw-a 

on.in water-PL.F.DIR AOR-pour-IMP.SG 

‘Pour water in it! ’ 


23 One speaker reports that a weak pronoun may be placed after the circumposition; we have not 
verified this with other speakers or sources. 



Adposition usage 


365 


9.7.5 Postpositions with oblique pronominal clitics 

Some postpositions may govern the oblique pronominal clitics discussed in Section 
7.4. 

(9.161) . 43 \j 

mahmud-0 kitab-0 ra ta 0-axl-i 

Mahmoud-SG.M.DIR book-M.DIR 1 for CONT-buy.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Mahmoud is buying me a book.’ 

(9.162) . 

xalak-0 ddr pore 0-xand-i 

people-PL.M.DIR 2 up.to CONT-laugh-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘People are laughing at you.’ 

Oblique pronominal clitics cannot be governed by circumpositions; compare the 
unacceptable 9.163 with the acceptable 9.164 (and note the claim in Babrakzai 1999: 
34 that prepositions also may not take oblique pronominal clitic objects; we have not 
found a counterexample to this claim in any dialect). The postpositional component 
of a circumposition will cooccur with the directive pronoun. 

(9.163) . 45 ^Ij a aJ aj % 

za la war sara bay-0 ta 

1SG.STR.DIR COMIT... 3 ...COMIT park-M.OBL to 

‘I went to the park with them.’ 

(9.164) . 45 aaj 

za war sara bay-0 ta walar-am 

1SG.STR.DIR 3 COMIT garden-M.OBL to go.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘I went to the park with them.’ 


walar-am 

go.AOR.PST-lSG 



Melissa Fox and Anne Boyle David 

10 Other Lexical Elements 


This chapter provides an overview of lexical categories not treated elsewhere in this 
grammar. 


10.1 Particles 

We have classified as particles any lexically free item that does not host inflection and 
that does not function as the argument or complement of a verb or adposition. This 
second criterion rules out some elements called “particles” in other works, notably 
the various pronoun forms. Some particles are formally clitics. 


10.1.1 The existential particle /sta/ 

The particle A^d /sta/ marks existential clauses in Pashto (including Waziri: Lorimer 
1902: 32). The negative form of /sta/ is A^dJ /na sta/. Though derived from an 
archaic third person singular form of the verb to be in Pashto, /sta/ is no longer 
inflected. Another example of this construction is found in example 10.1. In example 
10.3 the particle is found at the end of the clause with a relative clause following it. 

( 10 . 1 ) * o 1 

do ahmad-0 sora kampyutar-0 no sta 

COMIT... Ahmad-M.OBL ...COMIT computer-M.DIR NEG EXT 

‘Ahmad doesn't have a computer.’ csw 

(10.2) . J Aj aJjsI aJ ^ 

dd jang-0 Id amal-a pa afyanistdn-0 ke 

of war-M.OBL from cause-M.ABL in... Afghanistan-M.OBL ...in 

amniat-0 na sta 

security-M.DIR NEG EXT 

‘There is no security in Afghanistan because of the war.’ 



368 


Other Lexical Elements 


(10.3) . -US’" J>- 4j ^>- Ajci ^-*b j*-* 

ham dase anasir-0 sta ce nd 

also such elements-PL.M.DIR EXT COMP NEG 

0-ywar-i haqiqat-0 tsargand-0 

CONT-want.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] reality-M.DIR revealed-M.DIR 

s-i 

become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘There are also those parties who don’t want the truth the come to light.’ 
In the Northern and Middle dialects, the existential particle may exist in construc¬ 
tion with the copula, exhibiting third person masculine singular agreement. 

(10.4) . pjt* b iji uri OUJUi 

zalam-an sta day da 

abuser-PL.M.ANIM.DIR EXT be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M this.DIR 

0-man-dm 

CONT-accept-lSG 

‘There are bad guys around, I get that.’ 

The existential particle will often be used over the phone to ask or tell someone if 
a person is at home (Tegey & Robson, 1996). 

(10.5) 

zalm-ay sta 

Zalmay-M.DIR EXT 

‘Is Zalmay there?’ 

(10.6) . A^LL Aj 4A& l Aj 

nd haya nd sta 

NEG 3SG.STR.DIR NEG EXT 

‘No, he is not here.’ 

In clauses containing the phrase a^ 4J /na sta/, a concordant negative particle 
may but need not appear within the clause in scope; contrast 10.7, which contains a 
concordant negative, with 10.8, which does not: 



Particles 


369 


(10.7) . J AjJjlSsJ jfi\ a) AAJAj £>-jA L) jl ^*d.A At_JS 

bets dase sazman-0 aw yd marja-0 na sta 

none such organization-M.DIR and or authority-F.DIR NEG EXT 

ce Id amrika-0 war-ta sikayat-0 

COMP from America-F.OBL 3-to complaint-M.DIR 

wd-s-i 

AOR-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘There's no organization that one may complain to about America.’ 

(10.8) .AxjJ jj [j» ^ ajU Uota 

dd fand-uno dd idia-0 Id par-a kum-0 

of fund-PL.M.OBL of claim-F.OBL from sake-M.ABL which-M.DIR 

dreydm-0 fariq-0 na sta 
third-M.DIR party-M.DIR NEG EXT 

‘There’s no third party claiming the money.’ 1 


10.1.2 Modal particles 

In the Indo-European style, Pashto sometimes fulfills modal functions by means of 
uninflected sentence-level modifiers. The clause within the scope of the particle may 
appear as a main clause or as a finite subordinate clause, though given the optional- 
ity of the complementizer a>- /ca/ under some conditions, it is difficult to discern a 
difference between these—contrast 10.22 with 10.23. 


10.1.2.1 The modal clitic aj /ba/ 

As noted in the Verbs chapter (Section 8.5.2.2), the modal clitic aj /ba/ often appears in 
constructions with irrealis semantics. It is used to convey future time reference, spec¬ 
ulation, or doubt when it occurs with a present aorist verb and can also express the 
future with present continuous forms (see Section 8.5.2.1.2) if the verb refers to an event 
that is to be repeated or ongoing. With a past continuous verb form, however, a> /ba/ 
conveys habitual, previous action, as in 10.15. We try to capture its apparent polysemy 
by glossing this modal clitic as WOULD, since its irrealis and past habitual uses paral¬ 
lel two of the uses of English would, as in That would be Mary arriving at the front door 
and Every day last summer the girls would play in the park. 


1 Standardized version of 10.8: . <u jjy ajLJ IjlpI a a 



370 


Other Lexical Elements 


As a second-position clitic (Section 11.2.3.2), aj /bo/ must appear after the first 
stressed element of the clause. If other clitics are present, these follow a particular 
order discussed in Section 11.3.5. 

The following sentences illustrate the uses of aj /bo/. (10.14 is taken from Pate 
2012: 26): 

(10.9) A_<Jx^_a 

ckdngr-e mahkma-0 ba takaniz-e qazy-e 

special-F.DIR court-F.DIR WOULD selected-PL.F.DIR case-PL.F.DIR 

wa-tser-i 

AOR-investigate-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘A special court will investigate these cases.’ 2 


( 10 . 10 ) . l ?- 5 - 5 

da de tarun-0 la max-e ba 

of this.OBL contract-M.OBL from direction-F.OBL WOULD 

numwar-ay sarkat-0 da de proz-e 

aforementioned-M.DIR company-M.DIR of this.OBL project-F.OBL 

sarw-e tar sar-a kr-i 

survey-F.DIR up.to head-M.ABL do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘According to the contract, the aforementioned company will complete a 
survey of this project.’ 3 

(10.11) U aj Uj jj ®j aS 

ka za isayi s-am no zma 

if 1SG.STR.DIR Christian become.AOR.PRS-1SG then 1SG.STR.POSS 

koran-ay ba ma pregd-i 

family-F.DIR WOULD 1SG.STR.OBL AOR\abandon.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘If I become a Christian, then my family will abandon me.’ 4 


2 Standardized version of 10.9: . aj 

3 Standardized version of 10.10: J iS a a r •' aj a! Ojj iS a a 

f 

4 Standardized version of 10.11: C aj yj^f Uj y oj aS” 



Particles 


371 


(10.12) A ^>jfi a j aJ Aj jj 

mung ba la bahar-a marasta-0 

1PL.STR.DIR WOULD from outside-M.ABL help-F.DIR 

wa-ywdr-u 

AOR-want.PRS-lPL 

‘We'll ask for help from the outside [i.e. foreign aid].’ 

(10.13) . jLsLa Aj jLs xS 

da loy-0 mar-0 ba xamar-0 

this.DIR large-M.DIR snake-M.DIR WOULD dragon-M.DIR 

s-i 

become. AOR.PRS-PRS.3 [SG.M] 

‘This big snake will turn into a dragon.’ 

(10.14) dawud ba rdyal-ei wi 

Davud WOULD come.PTCP-3MSG be.AOR.PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Davud might have come.’ 

‘Davud should have come [but I'm not sure].’ 

(10.15) 4-1 xS^ x^-fo c ajlS^ aJjjj ^^ aj ^>- a!S~ 

kala ce ba taliban-o da xadz-o pa 

when COMP WOULD Taliban-PL.M.OBL of woman-PL.F.OBL on 

wrande kum-0 gam-0 porta kaw-a no 

before which-M.DIR step-M.DIR above do.CONT-PST.3SG.M then 

tol-e nar-ay ba nar-e 

all-F.OBL world-F.OBL WOULD shout-PL.F.DIR 

0-wah-al-e 

CONT-beat-PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘Whenever the Taliban would take steps against women, the entire world 
would cry out.’ 

See also Section 8.5.3.1 and Section 8.5.4.3 for more examples of the uses of aj /ba/. 



372 


Other Lexical Elements 


10.1.2.2 The modal particles /de/ and Jul /bayad/ 

The particle <_£.i /de/ (/di/ in the Western dialects) 5 functions most frequently as 
a deontic modal, in construction with the present aorist form of the verb: 

(10.16) aAa 

haya di wlar-0 s-i 

3SG.STR.DIR NEC gone-M.DIR become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘He should go!’ (S w) 


(10.17) . ^ jJjS" Ajjjj 4j jl ^ Aj A^jjb 

narina di pa lande kot-u ke ksen-i 

men NEC in... below room-PL.OBL ...in AOR\sit.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

aw sadk-e di pa porta kot-u ke 

and woman-PL.DIR NEC in... above room-PL.OBL ...in 

‘Let the men sit in the downstairs rooms and the women in the upstairs 
rooms.’ ( w) 

(10.18) aJ j 4 ) jl 4j!»L>- aJ jjj 

nor-0 de la xuday-a aw la rasul-a 

other-PL.M.DIR NEC from God-M.ABL and from Prophet-M.ABL 

wa-sarm-eg-i 

AOR-shame-PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘The others should be ashamed in front of God and the Prophet Mohammed.’ 

(10.19) . J4jAj 3 OjJJJ jJj Jl 

aljazira-0 televisyon-0 de da bahrayn-0 pa ara-0 

Al-Jazeera-M.DIR television NEC of Bahrain-M.OBL on topic-F.DIR 

xabar-una sansor-0 kr-i 

news-PL.M.DIR censored-PL.M.DIR do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘The Al-Jazeera network should censor reports on Bahrain.’ 

(10.20) . /j 1^2 a_^ !aj‘>G>- 

jalan-a xa maz-ay de wa-kr-e 

Jalan-M.VOC good haste-M.DIR NEC AOR-do.AOR-2SG 

‘Hey Jalan, you'd better hustle!’ 


5 According to Babrakzai, ^53 /de/functions as an enclitic. 



Particles 


373 


The particle JuL /bayad/ is also found in construction with the present aorist form 
of the verb. 

(10.21) If./ y 0U- djlj «j : Jjj 

wa ye way-dl za bayad dzan-0 

AOR 3.WK tell.PST-PST.3PL.M 1SG.STR.DIR NEC self-M.DIR 

mar-0 kr-am 

killed-M.DIR do.AOR-lSG 

‘He said: I should just kill myself!’ 


10.1.2.3 The modal particle /sayi/ ‘may; must’ 

This particle is positioned sentence-initially and may appear in construction with the 
complementizer <b>- /ca/. 

(10.22) . p-qjj <b fl j 

sayi za day pa wasangtan ke wa-win-am 

must 1SG be.3SG.M in... Washington ...in AOR-meet.PRS-lSG 

‘I should meet him in Washington.’ (S w) 

(10.23) . J 4j j/ b' L. ^ JJJJ <b>- 

sayi ca wror mi saba ta 

maybe COMP brother.SG.M.DIR 1SG.WK tomorrow to 

kor ta ras-i 

house.SG.M.OBL to come-PRS.3 

‘It is possible that my brother will come home tomorrow.’ <sw) 


10.1.2.4 The optative particle /kaske/ 

Pashto uses the particle/kaske/‘if only’—also /Li Iff /kaski/, /Lief /kaske/, 

/kaski/—to introduce clauses expressing a wish or desire that something would 
happen or would have happened. It can be used one of two ways: 

• with an optative verb, to express a counterfactual wish 

• with a present aorist verb, to express a polite request 



374 


Other Lexical Elements 


The verb in a sentence with counterfactual meaning must appear with optative 
mood marking (see Section 8.3.7 and Section 8.3.8 for the formation of these verbs): 

(10.24) 

kaski waxti rayl-ay way 

if.only early come.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.OPT 

‘I wish you had come earlier! [lit. If only you had come earlier!]’ (S w) 

In the second use, a polite request, the speaker is stating a hope that the event will 
take place. The verb in a sentence with this meaning must appear with present aorist 
marking, which expresses an irrealis event (see Section 8.3.2 for the formation of these 
verbs): 

(10.25) j/ Uj 4 j 

kaski td zma kor-0 fa ras-e 

if.only 2SG.STR.DIR 1SG.STR.POSS house-M.OBL to come.AOR.PRS-2SG 

‘Please come to my house! [lit. If only you would come to my house!]’ 

It is also possible to use the form a 5" /la/ ‘if’ plus the optative to achieve this 
counterfactual effect; see 11.103 for an example of this use. 


10.1.3 Affirmation particles 

In Pashto, affirmation questions and statements contain an affirmation particle. The 
most common of these particles is aS~ /la na/, a phrase that translates literally 
as 'or not.’ It appears to be found more frequently in affirmation questions than in 
affirmation statements. In speech, intonation differentiates the question use from the 
affirmation use. 

(10.26) ?4j aS*" ^ajj 

poh-0 sw-e ka na 

learned-M.DIR become.AOR.PST-2SG or not 

‘You understood, didn't you?’ (S w) 

(10.27) .<0 ^ yt 

wo ka na 
yes or not 

‘Yes, of course.’ (S w) 



Particles 


375 


(10.28) . ^^JJj 4j jjj aj ^4j aS 

m-wd-dar-eg-a ka na za nor pd 

lDVC-AOR-stand-PRS-IMP.SG or not 1SG.STR.DIR more after... 

ta pse na s-om 0-tdl-dl-ay 

2SG.STR.OBL ...after NEG become.AOR.PRS-lSG CONT-go.PST-PST-OPT 

‘Stop, OK? [because] I can't follow you any longer.’ 6 


10.1.4 The emphatic clitic/xo/ 

The particle y>- /xo/ 7 is a second-position clitic and expresses emphasis. 

(10.29) !<0 jjjj ij^ Jj i iiji jjjj Uj ta 

da xo zma wror-0 day do 

this.DIR EMPH 1SG.STR.POSS brother-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M of 

bel-0 sar-i wror-0 na 

other-M.DIR man-M.OBL brother-M.DIR NEG 

‘He is in fact my brother, not some other man's brother!’ 


10.1.5 Vocative particles 

A vocative particle may introduce a noun in the vocative case form (see Section 5.1.3.4). 
In Pashto, the vocative particles are called otal Ijj i /da nada adat/‘call particles’. 
Examples of vocatives in Pashto are: 

• /e saraya/‘Hey, man!’ 

• I /a saraya/ ‘Hey, man!’ 

<_gl /ay secku/ ‘Hello there, women!’ 

• ... Ij /wa .../ 

• .. .jl /o .../ 


6 Standardized version of 10.28: .<ii “9 jy aj !<u <df sy 

7 The emphatic/xo/ is considered to be different from the conjunction /xo/ ‘but’. 




376 


Other Lexical Elements 


10.1.6 Interjections 

Below are some common interjections: 

• To express grief or pain (Ouch!, Oh!): 7-1 /ax/, /hay hay/, <_£tj /way 

way/, Ij /wa/, i_ijl /of/, j /wax/, si /ah/ 

• To express admiration or praise (Bravo!): ^j>\ /afarin/.^jjl /aprin/.^bli /sabas/, 

/aski/ 

• To express surprise (Wow/, Really?!): Ijlj /wa wa/, Luxj /rixtya/ 

• To express regret (Forshame/): I /apsos/, il /afsos/, OUjI /arman /What 

a pity!, aj y /toba/ 

• For corroboration or agreement (Yes!, All right!): /ho/, /bale/, y* /bale 

ho/ Yes!, /xayr/ 

• For contradiction or disagreement (JVo/): a; /na/, a; a; /nana/;Aj /ya/, aj aj /ya 
ya/ e (Penzl, 1955: 44) 

• To threaten or caution (Whoa/): y?j /us/ 

A number of interjective particles are used, usually in fully-reduplicated form, for 
calling or urging various domesticated animals. They include: 

• To call a dog: /kuc kuc/ 

• To shoo a dog: a*j>- a*>- /ciya ciya/ 

• To make a camel kneel: ^jI ^jI /ex ex/ 

• To call a cat: Jy Jy /pis pis/ 

• To shoo a cat: ^jdy /piste piste/ 

• To urge on a donkey: A_d> I A_d>l /asaasa/ 

• To call a donkey: yy yy /kurukuru/ 

• To urge on a horse: ^ ^ /cc/ 

• To call sheep: y /drhey/ 

• To urge on oxen: jl jl /aw aw/ 

Another set of interjections is onomatopoetic: 




Adverbs 


377 


• Knocking: ^ -5^ /tek tek/ 

• Whispering: j j*j /pes pes/ 

• Water: /srap srap/ 

• Gunfire: /dezdez/ 

There is also a set of interjections borrowed directly from Arabic for religious rea¬ 
sons and used in certain cultural contexts. 

• Said after praising someone to ward off the evil eye: aJJI $.Li U /masallah/ ‘what 
God willed’ 

• Said in relief or in thanks: aJJ /alhamdulillah/‘praise to God’ 

• Said when beginning something such as a speech or starting a journey: aUL-^j 
/ bismillah/ ‘in the name of God’ 

• Said when talking about an action to be completed in the future: aJJI Oi /insal- 
lah/ ‘if God wills’ 

• Said after swearing, after saying or doing something inappropriate, or when being 
modest: <dJl I /astayfarallah/ ‘I ask God for forgiveness’ 


10.2 Adverbs 

For the purposes of this grammar, we have classified adverbs in terms of both lexi¬ 
cal and functional properties. Functionally, adverbs comprise modifiers of adjectives, 
verbs or verb phrases, and sentences; we have excluded “style disjuncts”—terms that 
have scope over the entire proposition or speech act; these are classified in this work 
as particles (Section 10.1). As is often the case, it is less straightforward to find lexical 
properties that differentiate adverbs from other word classes; we have not found men¬ 
tioned in the literature or from our own research any derivational morphology that 
results in lexical adverbs. 

Our criteria for eliminating an item from the class of adverbs are these: 

• If a word has an adjectival function, we have classified it as an adjective. 

• If a word is uninflected (and therefore not a verb) but governs an object, we have 
classed it as an adposition. 

Both of these points deserve further clarification: 



378 


Other Lexical Elements 


• Two circumstances exist in which adjectives function adverbially: when they modify 
other adjectives, and when they modify verbs. We treat both circumstances as ad¬ 
jectival modification, as discussed in Section 10.2.7. Unlike adjectives functioning 
adverbially, the adverbs discussed in the current section are never inflected. How¬ 
ever, since some classes of adjectives in Pashto do not undergo inflection, it may 
not be possible to tell whether an adjective is being used adjectivally or adverbially 
without looking at the overall syntax and interpretation of the sentence. 

• Because adpositional phrases are substantially “adverbial” in their functions, and 
because of the numerous conditions under which adpositions can appear without 
an overt object, there is a fair amount of uncertainty as to whether a particular item 
has a distinct function as an adverb. The position that we take here is that an item 
is an adverb if, acting alone, it modifies one of the constituents listed above. 

Adverbs can generally be divided into the traditional semantic classes of time, 
place, manner, and degree. They can appear in any position in the clause that pre¬ 
cedes the verb. 

In Pashto as in many other languages, some items are multifunctional: adverbs of 
degree may also be nominal quantifiers (e.g. .1 /lag/ ‘a little’); adverbs of place or time 
may also take complements and under those conditions are classified as adpositions 
(e.g. jjj /wrusta/ ‘after, later’). In this last case, many of the terms here listed as 
adverbs but not listed as adpositions may in fact (or in addition) be adpositions. 

In addition, some adverbs refer anaphorically and may therefore be classified as 
pro-forms (e.g. /ham/ ‘thus’; see also Septfonds, section 4.2.2 on /xpal/ ‘own’ 
as an adverb with reflexive reference); however, since our chapter on pro-forms has 
been confined to pronouns, we have placed the adverbial pro-forms in this section. 
Similarly, some adverbs listed here are exophoric in their reference and can therefore 
be classified as demonstratives (e.g. axU /halta/ ‘there’). 


10.2.1 Adverbs of time 

Adverbs of time include both adverbs with time reference and quantifier-like items. Ta¬ 
ble 10.1 contains a list of some common Pashto adverbs of time; beginning with 10.30, 
find examples of their use in sentences. 

(10.30) jJj 

tal de wi afyanistan-0 

always NEC be.AOR.PRS.3[SG.M] Afghanistan-M.DIR 

‘May it always be Afghanistan!’ 



Adverbs 


379 


Adverb 


Gloss 


tal 

‘always’ 


hamesa 

‘any time’ 

<JT jt> 

har kala 

‘whenever’ (see Section 7.7) 

aIS"” 

hits kala (na) 

‘never’ 

Air 

kala 

‘sometimes’ 

crj ] 

os 

‘now’ 


aknun 


JUJ! 

ilhal 


Cf 

nan 

‘today’ 

d Jji 

parun 

‘yeste rday’ 

W 

saba 

‘tomorrow’ 


waxti 

‘early’ 


wrusta 

‘after’ (11.89; see also Section 

9.5.2.2) 


maxkse 

‘before’ 

'll 

la 

‘yet’ 

_ 

pas 

‘later, then’ 


Table 10.1: Some adverbs of time 



380 


Other Lexical Elements 


(10.31) bj 

za hamisa kar-0 kaw-am 

1SG.STR.DIR always work-M.DIR do.CONT-lSG 

‘I always work.’ 

(10.32) « A3 xSiJi )l b 

ta la dod-ay nd da 

2SG.STR.0BL yet food-F.DIR NEG be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.F 

0-xwor-dl-e 

CONT-eat.PST-PST-PTCP.F.DIR 
‘Haven't you eaten yet?’ 


10.2.2 Adverbs of place 

Table 10.2 contains a list of some common Pashto adverbs of place; sentences begin¬ 
ning with 10.33 provide examples of their use in sentences. Some items mentioned 
here as adverbs also function as adpositions. 

(10.33) axU 

halta ksen-a 

there AOR\sit.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Sit there!’ 

(10.34) 

dalta ras-a 

here come.AOR.PRS-IMP.SG 
‘Come here!’ 


(10.35) 


kitab-0 

book-M.DIR 


me porta prot-0 day 

1SG.WK above lying-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 


‘My book is lying on top.’ m 


8 Notice that ax)a /dalta/ and <uU> /halta/follow the same d/h alternation for proximal vs. distal 
reference as the demonstrative pronouns (Section 7.5). 

9 Also: /bahar/ 



Adverbs 


381 


Adverb 


Gloss 


dalta 

‘here’ 


dale 



dele, dolata waz 



halta 8 

‘there’ 


hale 



porta 

‘above, upon’ 


pasa 


■^0) 

(da)nana 

‘inside’ 


dabandi 

‘outside’ 


bahar 9 



bande 

‘on top’ 

c£JJ V 

lande 

‘down, below’ 


nazde 

‘near’ 


pori 

‘around’ 


la re 

‘far (away)’ 

A^S 

ksata 

‘below, underneath’ 

L 

hicare 

‘nowhere’ 

4j jZyJb 

hicarta 



Table 10.2: Some adverbs of place 



382 


Other Lexical Elements 


(10.36) .£$2 O'jb t AjJi 

danana walar-0 say dabande baran-0 

inside gone-M.DIR become.AOR.PRS-IMP.SG outside rain-M.DIR 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Go inside! It is raining outside.’ ( wj 


10.2.3 Adverbs of manner 

Table 10.3 contains a list of some common Pashto adverbs of manner; in examples 
10.38 and following, find examples of their use in sentences. 

The preposition aj /pa/ can be used with an adjective object, to render an adverbial 
phrase (10.37). This stands next to the more usual construction of aj /pa/ with a noun 
object, also used to convey manner, as discussed in Section 9.3.4.2). 

(10.37) aJ JJjj iS^ 4j aS~ j^ 

^ J Aj i_J.il 5 ~ i aJ i^S"j AaAj>- \C,^ aJ j! 

. ai j** jj 

daktar-0 kabir-0 stori-0 ka pa fiziki lahaz-0 

doctor-M.DIR Kabir-M.DIR Stori-M.DIR if INSTR physical side-M.OBL 

da de nimgar-i zwand-0 la madar-a 

of this.OBL insufficient-M.OBL life-M.OBL from orbit-M.ABL 

w-awuxt-0 aw la de nar-ay tsaxa 

AOR-cross.over.PST-PST.3SG.M and from... this.OBL world-F.OBL ...from 

ye kada-0 wa-kar-l-a magar da 

3.WK movement-F.DIR AOR-do.AOR-PST-PST.3SG.F but of 

paxto-0 da adab-0 pa hask-0 ke la da 

pashto-M.OBL of literature-M.OBL in.... height-M ...in still of 

de tsaland-a stur-i rand-0 zmung par 

this.OBL shining-M.OBL star-M.OBL light-F.DIR 1PL.STR.POSS on 

sar-0 da 

head-M be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Even though Dr. Kabir Stori has physically turned away from movements of 
his meager life and left this world, in the heights of Pashto literature, the light 
of his shining star is still above our heads.’ 10 



Adverbs 


383 


(10.38) !a_p j j~>- jjj jjj l£j ^ 0l 

masr-an ce nast-0 

elder-PL.M.ANIM.DIR COMP sitting-PL.M.DIR 

wro xabr-e w 9-lor-a 

slow word-PL.F.DIR AOR-do.AOR-IMP.SG 

‘Talk softly when there are elders present!’ 

(10.39) . ^Jj jb jj 4 j j/ 4jL>dy9 

melm-and ye natsapa kor-0 ta war 

guest-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 3.WK sudden house-M.OBL to 3DVC 

nanawat-al 

AOR\enter.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘Their guests suddenly entered their home.’ 

(10.40) J»-lp ^ j >- AjIjj Ajjj 

war-ta wa-way-a ce ajil ras-i 

3-to AOR-tell.PRS-IMP.SG COMP quick come.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Tell him to come quickly!’ 


wi wro 

be.AOR.PRS.3[PL.M] slow 


10 Standardized version of 10.37: d Jujj <S d a -kb-J aS" 

a N aj i_ol a c da-nb”” ^d c_.*jlj ajlj^ 

. aa jj jy'j bj aJj*>L>- 

11 Also: ^ b /da si/ 

12 Also: du>- /ckabla/ 



384 


Other Lexical Elements 


Adverb 


Gloss 

JJ 

zer 

‘quickly’ 

Aj 

pa layat 



jalta 



ajil 


Vi 

wro 

‘slowly’ 

I 

ahista 


4jL>- lj 

na-tsapa 

‘suddenly’ 

AiU- ^ 

be-tsafa 


>\f\j 

na-gah 



da hasi 

‘thus’ 


da rang 

‘in this manner’ 


sara 

‘together (with)’ 


baham 


<duj 12 

zablah 


r* 

ham 

‘also, too’ 

^ <■> 

be-ja 

‘improperly’ 


Table 10.3: Some adverbs of manner 



Adverbs 


385 


10.2.3.1 The adverb ay /sara/ 

Across Pashto varieties, a y /sara/ (otherwise an adposition) can appear without an 
overt object. In this usage, it has a number of potential meanings, generally deter¬ 
mined through context. 

• a\y /sara/ may indicate a reciprocal reading of the predicate, subject to predictable 
semantic conditions: 

(10.41) a J"* J Aj 

pa doham-0 pardw-0 ke bd sara siyal-i 

in... second-M stage-M ...in WOULD together competition-SG.F.DIR 

wa-kr-i 

AOR-do.AOR-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘They will compete with [each other] in the second round.’ 

(10.42) y y jjU- jjM 4j 

pa hayo lar-o car-o mo bahs-0 

in... that.OBL road-PL.F.OBL affair-PLF.OBL 1PL.WK discussion-M.DIR 

sara kar-ay day 

together do.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘We discussed those efforts [among ourselves].’ 

Often, the verb that allows this usage of ay /sara/ is a denominal verb, and when 
it is, the adverb can appear either preceding the substantive word or may occur be¬ 
tween the substantive and the verbalizer, as shown in 10.41 and 10.43. 

• A second likely interpretation involves the null object of ay /sara/ having anaphoric 
reference: 

(10.43) ay> yT 

ce kala sara maxamax-0 s-i 

COMP when COMIT facing- [PL.M.DIR] become.A0R.PRS-1PL 

‘whenever we come face to face with [them]’ 

Note too that the omitted, understood object need not be animate; in that instance, 
a translation into English might include the particle along. 



386 


Other Lexical Elements 


10.2.4 Adverbs of degree 

Often adverbs of degree will be used to modify adjectives or verbs to denote intensity or 
emphasis, and they strongly tend to precede the modified element. Table 10.4 contains 
a list of some common Pashto adverbs of degree; their use in sentences can be seen in 
examples beginning with 10.44. 


Adverb 


Gloss 

V 

lag 

‘a little’ 

ji * 

der 

‘very’ 

^ j 

zaxt 


\jjj~ 

xwara 


v 

tan(h)a 

‘only’ 


serf 



maze 



bixi 

‘completely’ 

^ JJ & 

kwart 


^-^14 

cat 



tsaxo 

‘slightly’ 


Table 10.4: Some adverbs of degree 


13 Also: /sirp/, as a corruption of the Persian /sirf/(Raverty, 1867) 

14 Also: /cat pat/(Raverty, 1867) 





Adverbs 


387 


(10.44) J y djy_ 

parun me laz wa-ckyast-al 
yesterday 1SG.WK little AOR-run-PST.3PL.M 

‘I ran a little yesterday.’ 

(10.45) . ajlj-jj \jy>- yj* i 

da maram-io ?ay-0 masum-0 xwara 

of bullet-PL.F.OBL voice-M.OBL child-M.DIR very 

wa-beraw-a 
AOR-scare-PST.3SG.M 

‘The gunfire scared the child immensely.’ 

(10.46) y'M- yj y jlT y> 

xpal-0 nan-ay kar-0 me 

own-M.DIR daily-M.DIR work-M.DIR 1SG.WK 

xlas-0 kr-0 

finished-M.DIR do.AOR-PST.3SG.M 

‘I completely finished my work for today.’ 


cat pat 

complete ECHO 


10.2.5 Adverbs borrowed from Arabic 

A number of adverbs in Pashto have been borrowed from Arabic and have retained 
their Arabic morphology. These adverbs are recognizable because they end in the Ara¬ 
bic accusative case marker \ /-an/. Borrowings from Arabic include all categories of 
adverbs. 15 


15 Similarly, a number of adverbs have also been borrowed from Persian and Urdu (Shafeev, 1964: 
50), though since these borrowings do not have a peculiar morphology, they are listed among the 
Pashto adverbs. 



388 


Other Lexical Elements 


Adverb 


Gloss 

Lj jZu 

taqriban 

‘approximate ly’ 


rasman 

‘officially’ 


dafatan 

‘suddenly’ 

by 

fawran 

‘immediate ly’ 

Suit 

kamilan 

‘completely’ 


Table 10.5: Arabic adverbs in Pashto 


(10.47) . (JjJL 4 j l Zxii jj jJj 4 J 1 S” 

kola ca masum-ano xpol-0 plar-0 

when COMP child-PL.M.ANIM.OBL own-M.DIR father-M.DIR 

wa-lid-0 no dafatan po xanda-0 

AOR-see.PST-PST.3SG.M that suddenly INSTR laugh-F.DIR 

sw-al 

become.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘The children suddenly started laughing when they saw their father.’ 


10.2.6 Adverbial interrogatives 

Other interrogative words fill the positions of adverbials . They words are summarized 
in Table 10.6 and exemplified beginning with 10.50. In many cases there is a shorter 
form as well as a longer (sometimes two word) form starting with *J- /tsa/, /so/ ‘what’. 
See 10.48 and 10.49 for examples with ij /wali/ ‘why’, suggesting from the variable 
position of the weak pronoun clitic that this element may be outside the clause. 

(10.48) V Jj 

wali mac-aw-i me 

why kiss-do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.M] 1SG.WK 

‘Why is he kissing me?’ (NW) 



Adverbs 


389 


GP 

M 

Translation 

wali 

wale 

‘why?’ 

<dS” kala 

(ce) kala 

‘when?’ 

tsa waxt, sa waxt 

tsa waxt, sa waxt 

‘when (what time)?’ 

(Sjf? ceri, cere 

ceri, cere 

‘where?’ 

ijj>- care 



^ certa 

certa 

‘where?’ 

a£jJ- tsanga, sanga 

tsanga, sanga 

‘how?’ 

j ji- tsaranga, saranga 

tsarga, sarga 

‘how (what manner)?’ 


Table 10.6: Some other interrogative words 


(10.49) liSyfA ^ Jj 

wali me mac-aw-i 

why 1SG.WK kiss-do.C0NT-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Why is he kissing me?’ (NW) 

(10.50) aK 
lola rayl-e 

when come.A0R.PST-2SG 
‘When did you come?’ (NW) 

(10.51) 1Je\j 

sa waxt-0 rayl-e 

what time-M.DIR come.AOR.PST-2SG 


‘When did you come?’ (NW) 




390 


Other Lexical Elements 


(10.52) l£«»- 
cere z-ay 

where go.CONT.PRS-2PL 
‘Where are you going?’ (NW) 

(10.53) ^ A 
certa z-ay 

where go.CONT.PRS-2PL 
‘Where are you going?’ (NW) 

(10.54) jy" jU>j 

najar-0 sanga mez-0 jur-aw-i 

carpenter-M.DIR how table-M.DIR built-do.C0NT-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘How is the carpenter making the table?’ ( nwj 

(10.55) jy* jL>«j 

najar-0 saranga mez-0 jur-aw-i 

carpenter-M.DIR how table-M.DIR built-do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘How is the carpenter making the table?’ ( nwj 
A s with interrogative pronouns, these interrogatives also may be used with indef¬ 
inite meanings, as in Example 10.56. The reduplication of the question word gives the 
sense that the eating events are distributed over time. See Section 10.3 for more on 
reduplication. 

(10.56) yjy- ^ 4j aj 4_lS~ 

kala kala za pa restoran-0 ki 0-xwar-am 

when when 1SG.STR.DIR in... restaurant-M ...in CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

‘Sometimes I eat in restaurants.’ cswj 

(10.57) . ^\j -dSy. 

har kala ras-ay 

every when come.AOR.PRS-IMP.PL 

‘You are always welcome [lit. Come anytime!].’ 

Also like interrogative pronouns, these interrogatives, when being used indefi¬ 
nitely, can occur with y /har/ /ar/ ‘every’, as in ajS y /har kala/‘whenever; anytime’ 
andnSyy y /har cere/‘wherever; everywhere’. 

Negative statements with jky /hets/, /hes/ ‘any’ also occur with other interroga- 
tives/indefinites, as shown in 10.58. 



Adverbs 


391 


(10.58) . *4j <Sj^r °J 

23 lies cere wlar-0 nd sw-am 

1SG.STR.DIR none where gone-M.DIR NEG become.AOR.PST-1SG 

‘I didn't go anywhere.’ (NW) 

(10.59) ! a c~^p aIS" 

hits kala yeybat-0 ma kaw-a 

never when backbiting-M.DIR NEG do.CONT-IMP.SG 

‘Never backbite!’ 


10.2.7 Adjectives as adverbs 

Many adjectives can also be used as verbal or sentential modifiers. According to Tegey 
& Robson (1996:87), when playing this adverbial role they show agreement with the di¬ 
rect object if there is one, and with the subject if not. This unusual type of concord has 
been observed in the Caucasian language Avar, as well as certain western Indo-Aryan 
languages—for example, Bhitrauti, Gujarati, Punjabi, and Kashmiri (Hook & Chauhan 
1988b, Hook & Joshi 1991, Hook & Koul 2008). Notably, the Pashto-speaking region is 
situated between the regions in which Avar is spoken (western Dagestan, northwest 
Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan) and those of the western Indo-Aryan languages, and is, 
in fact, contiguous with Punjabi areas—a fact which suggests that adverbial concord 
is an areal feature. While it has been briefly described elsewhere, concord in Pashto 
adverbs is a subject ripe for further linguistic investigation. 

Some adjectives that frequently modify verbs are: 4.3* /xa/ ‘good’ (adjective), ‘well’ 
(adverb); jjj /der/ ‘many’ (adjective), ‘very’ (adverb); a^jL> /xayista/ ‘pretty’ (adjec¬ 
tive), ‘very’ (adverb); obj /zyat/ ‘heavy’ (adjective), ‘many’ (adverb). The following 
examples use the adjectives c —jj /post/ ‘soft’ and /saxt/ ‘hard’: 

(10.60) . fijN 4j 

da ux-0 pa lara-0 post-0 

this.DIR camel-M.DIR on road-F.DIR soft-M.DIR 


cfc-f 

go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘This camel rides very comfortably [lit. goes soft].’ ( nwj 



392 


Other Lexical Elements 


(10.61) . 4j APjjI li 

da uxa-0 pd lara-0 past-a 

this.DIR camel-F.DIR on road-F.DIR soft-F.DIR 

ck-i 

go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘This she-camel rides very comfortably [lit. goes soft].’ mn 

(10.62) . a^L ajN 4j 

da ux-an pd lara-0 past-3 

this.DIR camel-PL.M.DIR on road-F.DIR soft-PL.M.DIR 

ck-i 

go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘These camels ride very comfortably [lit. go soft].’ cnw> 

(10.63) ./ J# Jtj\ APi U 

ma daya ux-0 s3xt-0 tele 

1SG.STR.0BL this.DIR camel-M.DIR hard-M.DIR pushed 

lq-3 

do.A0R-PST.3SG.M 
‘I pushed this camel hard (NW) 

(10.64) . a )£ ( _ 5 1 ? 5 ap, jl APi U 

ma daya uxa-0 saxt-a tele 

1SG.STR.0BL this.DIR camel-F.DIR hard-F.DIR pushed 

kr-dl-a 

do.AOR-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘I pushed this she-camel hard.’ (NW) 


10.2.8 Reduplication of adverbs 

Degree adverbs may undergo full reduplicaton to indicate increased intensity of the 
action. 



Reduplication 


393 


(10.65) . jj jj 

fatdma-0 zar zar ck-i 

Fatima-F.DIR quick quick go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Fatima went very quickly.’ (NW) 


10.3 Reduplication 

10.3.1 Full (morphological) reduplication 

In Pashto, full reduplication is a morphological process with effects dependent on the 
lexical class of the word reduplicated. Nouns, number names, adjectives, adverbs, and 
interjections are subject to full reduplication; the functions of reduplication for each of 
these are found in Section 5.4.2, Section 6.5.3, Section 6.8.4, Section 10.2.8, and Section 
10.1.6 respectively. 


10.3.2 Partial reduplication; echo words 

Partial reduplication (resulting in a doublet that consists of a lexeme plus an echo word ) 
typically involves the alteration of only the initial sound; the quality of this altered 
segment is conventionalized for the particular stem. The meanings of these doublet 
words are similarly conventionalized, though some patterns exist. For instance, if the 
noun refers to an object, the doublet construction may be a generalized plural, as in 
examples 10.66 and 10.67. The doublet may convey intensity if the repeated element 
refers to an action (example 10.69). 

Echo words are an areal phenomenon throughout South Asia, where they occur in 
Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman, and Austroasiatic languages. It seems reason¬ 
able to assume that their existence in Pashto is due to areal influence. Some attested 
examples are given here, and Table 10.7 gives a list of some more doublet words and 
the stem from which they are derived (Pashtoon, 2009). 16,17 


16 Standardized version of 10.67: j oj ^ jl ^j iS jS ^ 

. 0 ‘ - .-Jj^. ■■ a 

17 Standardized version of 10.69: JjIT il y* d\J? 2 jyj y\y y j\ yy y yz 

■ lS) <0 jh- J> y^ jyy* (> 0!J yyj / iSy a 



394 


Other Lexical Elements 


(10.66) oytf 

gul-an mulan de 

flower-PL.M.ANIM.DIR ECHO 2.WK 

xwax-ig-i 

sweet-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Do you like flowers and such things?’ ( nwj 

(10.67) } a^\ Aj £$ Oj-iJ jl j' i ^ 4^-jjj Aj Isjg ^J\j J 
. a ^ ^j ^ a^ Ip 4j . ~~ J j 

dd ray-e gir-i na wrusta ye dd 

from... vote-F.OBL collection-F.OBL ...from after 3.WK of 

tag-i bragi aw raswat-0 xor-i pd ara-0 

cheat-M.OBL ECHO and bribe-M.OBL eating-F.OBL INSTR topic-F.DIR 

dd tahqiq-ato masuliat-0 pd yara-0 

of research-PL.M.OBL responsiblity-M.DIR INSTR neck-F.DIR 

darlod-0 

have.A0R.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘He had the responsibility of investigating bribery and cheating after the 
election.’ 


(10.68) iS jl>- (_£- 1 

dd malarya-0 naroy-i aw dd mdxniw-i 

of malaria-F.OBL sickness-F.DIR and of prevention-M.OBL 

lar-e care ye 

path-PL.F.DIR ECHO 3.WK 

‘The Disease of Malaria and the Ways to Prevent It’ 



Reduplication 


395 


(10.69) Axyaj'^C ^ jj j Axj jl axapo 

•<-Sjk ‘-Sj 1 **’ C- J b ^ /" j'^-J 

dayd be huyat-a aw be pat-a 

this.OBL without identity-M.ABL and without honor-M.ABL 

masr-ano zmung da gran-0 hewad-0 

elder-PL.M.ANIM.OBL 1PL.STR.POSS of dear-M.OBL country-M.OBL 

plazmena-0 kabul-0 dumra wijar-0 aw 

capital-F.DIR Kabul-M.DIR so.much destroyed-M.DIR and 

dar-ay waray kar-0 ce zmung 

shredded-M.DIR ECHO do.AOR-PST.3SG.M COMP 1PL.STR.POSS 

tarix-0 pa dw-o saw-o kal-uno 

history-M.DIR in... two-PL.M.OBL hundred-PL.M.OBL year-PL.M.OBL 

ke sar-ay na 0-lar-i 

...in example-M.DIR NEG CONT-have-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘These nameless and honorless leaders destroyed Kabul, the capital of our 
dear country, and tore it to such pieces that our history has had no such 
example in two hundred years.’ 

(10.70) Aj Aj i_ iJjt jXA ( J ( Jx>- ^ ^ ^ (xjx ji ^ 

• iS-* AjIj 47^-** 

hind-0 tso ckal-i da brixna-0 da 

India-M.DIR some time-PL.M.DIR of electricity-F.OBL of 

fabrik-o pa jor-aw-al-o ke xpal-0 

factory-PL.M.OBL in... built-do-INF-PL.M.OBL ...in own-M.OBL 

tak-al suw-i hadaf-0 ta pa 

select-INF become.AOR.PST-PCTP.M.OBL goal-M.OBL to in... 

ras-ed-o ke sata pata 

arrive-become-PL.M.OBL ...in behind ECHO 

suw-ay day 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘A couple of times now, India has fallen behind in its desired goal of building 
power plants.’ 



396 


Other Lexical Elements 


(10.71) . 4j j a j—' Jj^CU |_/*t -i 4 j 

mung i>a da amrika-0 aw malgdr-o 

1PL.STR[DIR] WOULD with... America-F.OBL and friend-PL.M.OBL 

sara ye hits dawal-0 xabar-e atere wa rid 

...with 3.WK nothing manner-M.DIR word-PL.F.DIR ECHO AOR NEG 

kr-u 

do.AOR-IPL 

‘We will not hold talks with America or any of its allies.’ 



Reduplication 


397 


Doublet 



Stem 

4jjl 

poxtana utana 

‘questioning’ 

poxtana ‘question’ 

ijjii 

pezane ajane 

gloss unknown 

pezana ‘familiarity, 
recognition’ 

jH h 

war par 

‘through and 
through’ 

jlj war ‘time, turn’ 


nasta pasta 

‘social 

intercourse’ 

‘conduct’ 

nasta ‘sitting’ 

cj c-J 

tat pat 

‘disordered’ 

‘confused’ 

cj tat ‘confused’ 

'r-i ^ 

yat pat 

‘very big’ 

yat ‘large’ 

sH 

lat pat 

‘soiled’ 

‘besmirched’ 

lat‘sluggish’ 

y-j, cs-jy- 

xurin prin 

‘boiled very soft’ 

‘overripe’ 

xurin‘boiled soft, 
overcooked’ 

t —£ 

kring pring 

‘curved’ 

‘bent’ 

ijLji" kring‘curve, bend’ 


sust pust 

‘quite listless, lax, 
non-diligent’ 

w sust‘listless’ 


xal pal 

gloss unknown 

Jj- xal‘faith, confidence’ 


hali zali 

‘effort’ 

<d* hala ‘attach’; <tU- zila 
‘worry, alarm’ 


Table 10.7: Some doublets and their base stems 





Claudia M. Brugman and Anne Boyle David 

11 Syntax 

11.1 Overview 

This grammar has concentrated on Pashto word-formation and phrase-formation. The 
current chapter covers some aspects of Pashto sentence construction, focusing on ques¬ 
tions of word and phrase order, and case-marking and agreement. It is not a compre¬ 
hensive treatment of Pashto syntax, which has been described in various degrees of 
detail by Babrakzai (1999), Lorimer (1902), Pate (2012), Penzl (1955), and Tegey (1979), 
among others. Most of the description in this chapter has been synthesized from these 
works. For the most part, the research we conducted with native speakers rendered 
differences in lexical forms or case-marking patterns, not in the general properties of 
Pashto syntax; however, our field research on syntax was more limited than that on 
other aspects of Pashto grammar. 

Pashto exhibits strong head-final order in noun phrases and verb phrases. A set of 
apparent exceptions to the general order of elements in a clause results from the large 
inventory of second-position clitics, described in Section 11.2.3.2.1. 

There is at least one phrasal position outside the clause, before the subject. It is 
used for a variety of purposes including, but not restricted to, a focus function. Because 
it apparently fulfills many independent grammatical requirements of Pashto, we refer 
to this position as pre-clausal position, rather than as a Focus position. In addition, 
there is a phrasal position outside the clause after the verb phrase, which is similarly 
used for a variety of functions. We refer to this position as the post-clausal position. 

Pashto is a pro-drop language: the pronoun coreferential with the agreement marker 
on the verb may be omitted under the conditions detailed in Section 7.2.2. 


11.2 Phrasal syntax 

11.2.1 Noun phrases 

Pashto noun phrases 1 generally exhibit the internal order Determiner - Quantifier - Ad¬ 
jective - Noun. A genitive determiner (headed either by j /da/ or by a fused strong 
form—see Section 7.2.3) is generally phrase-initial, irrespective of its function (see Sec¬ 
tion 9.3.1.1 for more examples). 

Because weak pronouns are second-position clitics, when they are used as genitive 
determiners (which is indicated only by their proximity to the noun), they may follow 


1 We use this term in its traditional sense of a noun and its complements, modifiers, and 
determiners; in generative terminology, this is called the Determiner Phrase or DP. 



400 


Syntax 


their head. This is exemplified in 11.1. They may also precede their head, as is shown 
in 11.2. 

(11.1) Ajj ^ L t Jj-i AjjJfx^J- 

dzangal-una mo wa-wah-al sw-al biya 

jungle-PL.M.DIR 1PL.WK AOR-hit-INF become.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M then 

ye hits ca ham yam-0 wa-na xor-0 

3.WK none who.OBL also sorrow-M.DIR AOR-NEG eat.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Our forests were destroyed, and nobody even cared.’ 

(11.2) y b 

da mi kitab-0 day 

this.DIR 1SG.WK book-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘That is my book.’ ( swj 

Participial phrases modifying nouns pattern as adjective phrases and tend to pre¬ 
cede their heads, as shown in 11.3: 

(11.3) . (J y* Aj 

pa fard-0 Ice taxtaw-al suw-i 

in... Farah-M ...in kidnap-INF become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

kargar-an xose sw-al 

worker-PL.M.ANIM.DIR released become.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘The workers kidnapped in Farah were released.’ 

Relative-clause modifiers appear after their heads in the same phrase, as shown in 
example 11.76, but may also appear in the post-clausal position, as shown in example 
11.75. 

11.2.2 Adpositional phrases 

The salient exception to the head-final principle can be found in adpositional phrases, 
given the existence of prepositions, postpositions, and circumpositions. A number of 
additional conditions obtain on the internal structure of adpositional phrases, having 
to do with the interrelationships between weak pronouns or oblique pronominal clitics 
and adpositions; these are discussed in Section 9.7.4 and Section 9.7.5, respectively. 



Phrasal syntax 


401 


11.2.3 Verb phrases 

Generally, head-final order is found also in the verb phrase, with the verb, if any, as 
the final element. Relative clauses and sentence-level modifiers may appear in post- 
clausal position, as described by Tegey (1979) and Pate (2012). 


11.2.3.1 Light verb constructions 

Like many other languages of the Western Asian and South Asian areas, Pashto has a 
robust system of light verb constructions (LVC), two-word expressions that are seman¬ 
tically interpretable as a single predicate. Only one of the two canonical types—those 
of the form Noun/Adjective + Verb (N-V)—appears in our data and has been described 
by other authors as occurring in Pashto. See Section 8.2.4.4 for a detailed description 
of their morphosyntactic behavior. 

As for the other type of LVC—Verb + Verb (V-V)—since it is abundant in South Asian 
languages of both the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian families, and has recently been re¬ 
ported for Persian (Kshanovski, 2011), it would not be surprising to find it in Pashto as 
well. For that reason we will not say definitively that V-V LVCs do not occur in Pashto; 
further investigation is necessary. 

As verbs are a closed class in Pashto, the LVC is the only means of creating new 
verbal forms in the language; it is also used as a way of importing loanwords, with 
the borrowed word filling the complement slot; the morphosyntactic requirements on 
the complement are discussed in Section 8.2.4.4. LVCs are so prominent and produc¬ 
tive in Pashto that they serve as simplex predicates for further syntactic purposes—for 
example, they can license further complementation. (See Section 11.5 for examples.) 

The inventory of light verbs in Pashto should not surprise anyone familiar with 
LVCs. In addition to the verbs J-Lif /kedal/ ‘to become’ and J S /kawal/ ‘to make; 
to do’, which we refer to as the intransitive and transitive verbalizers when they act as 
light verbs, Pashto uses the verbs /axistal/ ‘to take’, Jj&. j /wahal/ ‘to beat’, 

J/niwal/ ‘to seize; to grasp’, and /istal/ ‘to throw out’ as light verbs, as in the 
following examples: 

• /psa axistal/ ‘to stride’ < /psa/ ‘(f.) foot’ 

• L* /sa axistal/ ‘to breathe’ < L» /sa/ ‘(f.) breathing, respiration’ 

• Jj&j /tel wahal/ ‘to push, shove (one another)’ < Lj /tel/ ‘(m.) push, shove’ 

• Jj&j /babozay wahal/‘to fan’< ^jj-j /babozay/‘(m.) fan’ 

• Jjj JfxdT /kangal niwal/ ‘to freeze (intr.)’ < /kangal/ ‘(m.) ice’ 

• ( jJxS /kusti niwal/ ‘to wrestle’ < /kusti/ ‘(f.) wrestling’ 



402 


Syntax 


• /ar istal/ ‘to compel’ < /ar/‘obstacle; compelled’ 

While LVCs with J-Lif /kedal/ and J S /kawal/ are by far the most common and 
extremely productive, we do not know how productive the other verbs in the above 
examples are as light verbs. In addition, there are likely more light verbs in Pashto, but 
again, further research in this area is needed. A few examples follow of typical LVCs; 
as these are so common in Pashto, many more can be seen throughout this book. 
Contracted LVC: 

(11.4) jv-5 " Jji i aj 

astraliya-0 pd afyanistan-0 ke dd "pi ar ti" tim-0 

Australia-F.DIR in... Afghanistan-M ...in of "P R T" team-M.DIR 

jor-aw-i 

built-do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Australia is establishing a 'Provincial] Reconstruction] T[eam]' team in 
Afghanistan.’ 

(11.5) . ajjjj jl 4 j 

pd lasgun-o xaldk-0 0-wazn-d aw 

INSTR dozen-PL.M.OBL people-M.DIR CONT-kill.PRS-IMP.SG and 

Id zwand-a ye xlas-aw-a 

from life-M.ABL 3.WK freed-do.CONT-IMP.SG 

‘Kill dozens of people and release them from this life.’ 

Uncontracted LVC: 

(11.6) . t _£yj Ai j ^ 

numwdr-ay masin-0 dd ndr-dy pd 

aforementioned-M.DIR machine-M.DIR of world-F.OBL on... 

gan-0 smir-0 zdb-o bande xadmat-0 

numerous-M number-M language-PL.F.OBL ...on services-PL.M.DIR 

kaw-i 

do.CONT-PRS.3 [SG.M] 

‘The aforementioned device functions in a large number of the world's 
languages.’ 



Phrasal syntax 


403 


(11.7) 4j ijlj ( J^j aJ Oljjl 2 Aj A^jjj aJ 

b de wrusta ha da irdn-0 la lur-e 

from this.OBL after WOULD of Iran-M.OBL from side-F.OBL 

tel-0 wared-0 na kr-u 

fuel-M.DIR imported-M.DIR NEG do.AOR-IPL 

‘After this, we won't import fuel through Iran.’ 2 

(11.8) . a/ ^j>-\/ ys- 

yat-0 yway-i karac-e kasa kr-a 
big-M.OBL bull-M.OBL cart-F.DIR pulled do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

‘The big bull pulled the cart.’ 

Adjective complements of N-V LVCs always show agreement with the undergoer 
of the action of the verb, which is in turn marked in accordance with Pashto’s system 
of split ergativity. Nominal complements are usually treated as the direct object of the 
verb, and are therefore also case-marked according to split-ergative alignment. The 
undergoer of the action, on the other hand, cannot be a direct object, as the verb can 
have at most two arguments; it is instead indicated by an adposition and accordingly 
case-marked oblique. 3 


11.2.3.2 Elements in the verbal group 
11.2.3.2.1 The verbal group in General Pashto 

Certain particles can be inserted between: 

• The aorist prefix_j /wa/and its verb. 

• A prefix or pseudo-prefix and its verb. (This includes both the n-initial complex 
verbs and second conjugation, or prefixed, verbs.) 

• The complement of a denominal verb and its verbalizer. 

The particles that interact with verbs in this way are: 

• The modal clitics a> /ba/and^i /de/ 

• The weak personal pronouns, or pronominal clitics /me/ , /de/ , ^ /ye/, 
and y /mo/ 


2 Standardized version of 11.7: . <u AjIj Jj a! Oljjl a a! 

3 However, some nominal complements behave like part of the verb lexeme and allow a direct 
object, similarly to adjective complements; see Section 8.2.4.4 for a discussion of these exceptions. 



Syntax 


404 - 


• The adverbial clitics y~ /xo/and y /no/ 

• The negatives 4j /na/and<u /ma/ 

Modals, weak personal pronouns, and adverbials are all second-position clitics. 
They also obey strict rules of ordering relative to each other. Tegey (1977) reports the 
following ordering of enclitics between verbal components: 

/xo/> 4j /ba/> {/mo/| ^ /me/| /de/| /ye/} > j /no/ 

If the first syllable of the verb does not carry stress (that is, if it is a non-aorist 
form), the negative precedes the verb, and the clitics follow the negative. Also, if an 
aorist form is negated, the negative marker—not the initial syllable of the verb—takes 
the stress. 

Some examples of these phenomena follow (examples are from Kopris 2009 and 
Tegey 1977). 

With aorist prefix _j /wa/: 

(11.9) . ^ j 

wd me wah-a 

AOR 1SG.WK beat-PST.3SG.M 

‘I beat him.’ 

WithJj /wa/ (<_j /wa/+/a-/): 

( 11 . 10 ) ^ \j 

w-a me xist-dl 
AOR-buy 1SG.WK buy.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘I bought them.’ 

With second conjugation (= prefixed) verb: 

(11.11) . 4J ^ 4j yj 

bo ba me na z-e 

take.AOR.PRS WOULD 1SGWK NEG take-2SG 

‘You won't take me.’ 

With a-initial verbs, but only when the /a/ is stressed (the n-initial verbs are un¬ 
usual in that they have variable stress placement): 

(11.12) . ^ I 

0-a me xist-dl-3 

CONT-buy 1SGWK buy.PST-PST-3PL.M 

‘I was buying them.’ 


versus: 



Phrasal syntax 


405 


(11.13) • ^ J^l 

0-axist-al-a me 

CONT-buy.PST-PST-3PL.M 1SG.WK 

‘I was buying them.’ 

With denominal verbs: 

(11.14) ./ ^ Oljj 

waran-0 me k-a 
worse-M.DIR 1SG.WK do.AOR-PST.3SG.M 

‘I made it worse.’ 

A negated aorist form (note stress on negative): 

(11.15) . o/ Ajj a 

baxt-0 wdr-sdra yar-i wa-na kr-a 

fate-M.OBL 3-COMIT friendship-F.DIR AOR-NEG do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

‘Fate didn't befriend him.’ 

The pair below with the second conjugation verb J jL>J- /tsamlawal/ ‘to knock 
down’ shows that the choice of pronoun is optional: either the strong pronoun may 
precede the intact inflected verb, or the weak pronoun clitic may cliticize to the initial 
stressed syllable of the verb. 

(11.16) . U 

ma tsamlaw-al 

1SG.STR.OBL AOR\knock.down-PST.3PL.M 

‘I knocked them down.’ 

(11.17) . jjl* ^ 4^- 

tsa me mlaw-al 

AOR\knock.down 1SG.WK knock.down-PST.3PL.M 

‘I knocked them down.’ 

11.2.3.2.2 The verbal group in Middle dialects 

Particles in the Middle dialects interact with verbs similarly to those in the General 
Pashto dialects. They differ somewhat in form, as illustrated below. 

The Waziri particles take the following forms: 


The modal clitics /wa/ and /de/ 



406 


Syntax 


• The weak personal pronouns, or pronominal clitics /mi/ , /di/ , /(y)e/ , and /mo/ 

• The adverbial clitics /xo/(see Section 10.1.4) and /nu/ 

• The negative morphemes /na/ and /ma/ 

The Dzadrani particles take these forms: 

• The modal clitics /be/and /de/ 

• The weak personal pronouns, or pronominal clitics /me/ ~ /be/, /de/, /ye/, and 
/am/ 

• The adverbial clitic /xo/ 

• The negative morphemes /na/and /ma/ 

We do not have information on the ordering of Waziri clitics, but Septfonds reports 
Dzadrani ordering as follows: 

adverbial clitics > pronominal clitics > modal clitics 

Note that this ordering distinguishes between modal /de/ and pronominal /de/ 
‘you’, in contrast to General Pashto dialects, where the two occupy the same slot. 


11.2.3.2.3 Negative placement in the aorist verb phrase 

The negative particle 41 /na/ nearly always precedes the verb and is placed as close to 
the verb stem as possible. In aorist constructions, it therefore follows the aorist marker 
j /wa/ for simplex verbs, and either initial /a/, the prefix, or the light verb complement 
for complex verbs. Because it carries an inherent stress, it takes the main stress in an 
aorist verb phrase: 

(11.18) .J^J *1 j U 

ma wu na Iwast-al 

1SG.STR.OBL AOR NEG read-PST.3PL.M 

‘I didn't read [them] over.’ 

(11.19) a ij ^ Lj t Jj-i J-*jj y 41jJ^jJ- 

dzangal-una mo wa-wah-al sw-al biya 

jungle-PL.M.DIR 1PL.WK AOR-hit-INF become.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M then 

ye hits ca ham yam-0 wa-na 

3.WK none who.OBL also sorrow-M.DIR AOR-NEG 

xor-0 

eat.PST-PST.3SG.M 


‘Our forests were destroyed, and nobody even cared.’ 



Phrasal syntax 


407 


(11.20) 4j ^ As *^*~ j a) 2 oLi 

sah-0 mahmud-0 Id sar-0 tsdxe taj-0 

Shah-M.OBL Mahmud-M.OBL from... head-M.OBL ...from crown-M.DIR 

ista lor-0 aw hits waxt pd sahi taxt-0 

removed do.AOR-PST.3SG.M and none time on royal stage-M 

l<xe-ne-nast-0 

AOR\sit-NEG-sit.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Shah Mahmud disavowed his royal birthright and never assumed the throne.’ 

(11.21) . 0/ 4j 

haye xpdl-a catr-dy xlas-a na 

3SG.F.STR.OBL own-F.DIR umbrella-F.DIR opened-F.DIR NEG 

kr-a 

do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

‘She didn't open her umbrella.’ 

(11.22) . o/ 4jj a j-"jJ 

baxt-0 wdr-sdra yar-i wa-na kr-a 

fate-M.OBL 3-COMIT friendship-F.DIR AOR-NEG do.AOR-PST.3SG.F 

‘Fate didn't befriend him.’ 

Because aj /ba/ is a second-position clitic and therefore must follow the first stressed 
word in the clause or sentence, when negating future time reference, the order of the 
other elements depends on the presence of a subject and object or both, as indicated 
in Table 11.1. 


Condition 

Order of elements 

subject OR object expressed 

subject/object + aj ba+j wa + <u na+verb 

subject AND object expressed 

subject+ aj ba +object +j wa + <u na+verb 

NEITHER subject NOR object expressed 

j wa + Aj ba + Aj na+verb 


Table 11.1: Element ordering in negative future constructions 





408 


Syntax 


In the case of simplex verbs (i.e., all first conjugation verbs except a-initial ones; 
see Section 8.2.4), the negated verb is simply Aj /na/ + inflected verb stem, as in 11.23 
through 11.28, examples of the orderings in Table 11.1 (Tegey & Robson, 1996:128). 

(11.23) . ^ £cJj Aj Aj Jjl ^ 

da orgad-i lar-0 ba yawaze pa balx-0 

of train-M.OBL path-F.DIR WOULD only in... Balkh-M 

walayat-0 ke pay ta wa-na ras-eg-i 

province-M ...in end to AOR-NEG arrive-PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Only in Balkh Province will the railroad not be completed.’ 

(11.24) . Ajj aJjA 4j a Jjli 

kum-a fayida-0 ba dar-ta wa-na rasaw-i 

any-F.DIR benefit-F.DIR WOULD 2-to AOR-NEG deliver-PRS.3[SG] 

‘It won't do you any good.’ 


(11.25) . j Obj AJ AajjjI (_£jA.a 4j ^*^0 

da dawal-0 dasis-e ba da duy 

this.DIR manner-M.DIR conspiracy-PL.F.DIR WOULD of 3PL.STR.OBL 

orband-0 ta ziyan-0 wa na rasaw-i 

cease.fire-M.OBL to damage-M.DIR AOR NEG deliver-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘This type of conspiracy won't hurt the cease-fire. [lit. This type of conspiracy 
won't bring damage to their cease-fire.]’ 4 

(11.26) . Aj j AJ y> (Syy*y Aa AaA-j aA& Jj 

tar haya waxt-a ba numwar-ay xpal-e 

up.to that.OBL time-M.ABL WOULD aforementioned-M.DIR own-F.OBL 

mox-e ta wa na ras-eg-i 

goal-F.OBL to AOR NEG arrive-PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Even now, he won't reach his goals.’ 


4 Standardized version of 11.25: • Aj j Obj a j JljjjI <^ja a aj 


■a Jji la 



Phrasal syntax 


409 


(11.27) . c-OL oJjIj ^ ^ 4jj 

wa-ba na s-am kar-ay da 

AOR-WOULD NEG become.AOR.PRS-lSG do.AOR-OPT of 

pdrlamdn-0 la lar-e xadmat-0 wa-kr-am 

parliament-M.OBL from path-F.OBL service-M.DIR AOR-do.AOR-lSG 

‘I won't be able to serve in Parliament.’ 

(11.28) . (J 4j 4 jj 

wa ba na smir-al s-i 

AOR WOULD NEG count-INF become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘[The votes] won't be counted.’ 5 

With complex verbs (i.e., n-initial verbs, second conjugation verbs, and third con¬ 
jugation verbs; see Section 8.2.4), the negative particle is inserted between the first 
element and the verb stem. Note that the prefix j /wa/ occurs only in n-initial verbs. 
Table 11.2 describes the relative position of the elements. See also Section 11.2.3.2. 


Verb type 


Positioning 


a-initial verbs 

j w + 1 a (note lengthening) + as na + rest of 

verb 

Second conjugation verbs 

prefix+ 4J na + rest of verb 

Third conjugation verbs 

noun or adjective + <u na + verbaiizer 


Table 11.2: Negative placement 


Consider 11.29 through 11.31, examples of this negative placement. Note that in 
these constructions, aj /ba/ always appears after the first stressed element of the sen¬ 
tence: 

• (3-initial verb /axistal/ ‘to take; to buy’: 


5 Standardized version of 11.28: . ^ 45 <o j 



410 


Syntax 


(11.29) . 4j ^i')! jlS*" oj 4jLj^j 

no biya ba ham zd dd de kar-0 

then then WOULD also 1SG.STR.DIR from... this.OBL work-M.OBL 

tsaxa las-0 w-a na xl-am 

...from hand-M.DIR AOR-take NEG take.PRS-lSG 

‘Then I also won't quit my job.’ 6 

• second conjugation verb /prexud-al/ ‘to abandon’: 

(11.30) . jOj 4j j 4 j 4j «j 

zs bd haya pd hits dawal-0 ham 

1SG.STR.DIR WOULD 3SG.STR.DIR INSTR none manner-M also 

yawaze pre na gd-am 

alone AOR\abandon NEG abandon.PRS-lSG 

‘I won’t ever leave him alone.’ 

• third conjugation verb Jjijlj /waredawal/ ‘to take’: 

(11.31) • ijlj a! - 1 aj aJ 

Id de wrusta ha da iran-0 la lur-e 

from this.OBL after WOULD of Iran-M.OBL from side-F.OBL 

tel-0 wared-0 na kr-u 

fuel-M.DIR imported-M.DIR NEG do.AOR-IPL 

‘After this, we won't import fuel through Iran.’ 7 


11.3 Main clause sentence types 

Pashto is a pro-drop language: it often lacks overt marking of arguments, both be¬ 
cause the direct case marker is often zero, and because the direct case reflects nom¬ 
inative, accusative, and absolutive functions (see Section 5.1.3.1 and Section 5.2). This 
affects word order in that subjects may be expressed through verb agreement suffixa- 
tion alone. 


6 Standardized version of 11.29: . *-L>- <ii \j j IS" aj <o L> y 

7 Standardized version of 11.31: .jjf <u ,jjj\ d 0\j\ i <o ^$2 d 



Main clause sentence types 


411 


11.3.1 Declaratives 

11.3.1.1 Order of elements in declaratives 

Subject to several more specific conditions, the order of elements in main clauses in 
Pashto is S - 0 - V. In addition to verb agreement, word order contributes to interpreta¬ 
tion in present-tense clauses where both subject and object are case-marked as direct. 
In example 11.32, the nominal ^jy U /mamurin/ ‘officials’ is the first of the two direct- 
marked nouns, and is the head of the subject noun phrase. 

(11.32) • iSjy~ SrLP ^ 

pa sal-o ke nuw-i dawlati 

in... one.hundred-PL.M.OBL ...in ninety-PL.M.DIR governmental 

mamur-in raswat-0 0-xor-i 

official-PL.M.DIR bribe-F.DIR CONT-eat.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Ninety percent of government officials take bribes.’ 

There are various exceptions to the basic S-O-V principle. One is that the required 
second position of a weak pronoun may result in a violation of the S-O-V order. Com¬ 
pare examples 11.60 and 11.61. 

Babrakzai (1999:13-14) notes that outside of a strict verb-final condition, “Word 
order within a clause is very flexible.” The following example shows that (for some 
speakers at least) the object may precede the subject, for emphasis or contrast, provid¬ 
ing that the larger context supports the interpretation: 

(11.33) . y\^>^ ^p 

turki injinir-an da duy 

Turkish engineer-PL.M.ANIM.DIR of 3PL.STR.0BL 

kas-ano nd di 

person-PL.M.ANIM.OBL NEG be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.M 

0-taxtaw-al-i 

CONT-kidnap-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

‘Their people didn't kidnap the Turkish engineers.’ 

In the following attested example, the first translation is the intended one, in keep¬ 
ing with the strong preference for the subject to precede the object. The second one, 
however, has been confirmed by speakers as a possible interpretation. According to 
our sources, the second possible translation (0-S-V) would require a supporting con¬ 
text and would, in speech, be signaled through special intonation (including a heavy 
pause), suggesting that the pre-clausal position is being used in this case for focus. 



412 


Syntax 


(11.34) Vjjj OU-jj Jjft. Jj iSjjj** j-ij' J-* ■> 

dd mili urdu-0 sartir-i wale baharani 

of national army-M.OBL soldier-PL.M.DIR why foreign 

pawdz-ian 0-wazn-i 

force-PL.M.ANIM.DIR CONT-kill.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Why are the nation's soldiers killing foreign fighters?’ 

‘Why are foreign fighters killing the nation's soldiers?’ 8 

Roberts (2000: 11-12) claims that O-S-V order such as is shown in 11.34 is much 
more likely in past tense sentences, where the ergative-absolutive case-marking pat¬ 
tern provides disambiguation; he claims further that in such cases, no special into¬ 
nation is associated with the O-S-V word order. According to Roberts, present-tense 
sentences with O-S-V order instantiate a construction that contains a pronoun coref- 
erential with the object, as shown in 11.35, where the weak pronoun co-refers with the 
noun /spay/; this lends support to the view that the object noun phrase is in a pre- 
clausal position. 

(11.35) sp-ay piso-0 ye xog-aw-i 

dog-M.DIR cat-F.DIR 3.WK hurt-do.CONT-PRS.3[SG]F 

‘The dog, the cat is hurting him.’ 

Penzl (1955:133) provides a present-tense example for Kandahari with O-S-V word 
order, which he claims places focus on the object. Note that this example contrasts 
with the previous one in that only one direct object expression appears. We leave to 
future research whether these somewhat contradictory claims reflect dialect variation, 
or register or stylistic variation. 

(11.36) ta za 0-win-dm 

2SG.STR.OBL 1SG.STR.DIR AOR-see-lSG 

‘It's you I see!’ 

Because Pashto’s denominal verbs place the verb’s complement in the direct ob¬ 
ject position, the undergoer of the expressed action is often given in an adpositional 
phrase (highlighted in example 11.37). The agreement suffix on the verb reflects that 
/marasta/ ‘help’ is the grammatical direct object. In these constructions, the 
adpositional phrase containing the undergoer precedes the denominal verb. 


8 Standardized version of 11.34: - 1 



Main clause sentence types 


413 


(11.37) . aJ \j A ^jA a ^ c^>“j jj Jjlj 4j 

pa afyanistan-0 bande dd haml-o par waxt-0 ye 

on... Afghanistan-M ...on of attack-PL.F.OBL at time-M 3.WK 

da pakistan-0 sara marasta-0 

COMIT... Pakistan-M.OBL ...COMIT help-F.DIR 

wa-kar-l-a 

AOR-do.AOR-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘He helped Pakistan when Afghanistan was under attack.’ 


11.3.1.2 Order of elements in ditransitive main clauses 

There is in Pashto no double-object ditransitive construction; indirect objects are al¬ 
ways marked with an adposition. Roberts (2000:13) demonstrates that in sentences 
that have a subject, a direct object, and an indirect object marked with the postposi¬ 
tion 4j /ta/ ‘to’, any order of arguments is possible, “as long as the grammatical func¬ 
tions of the arguments are clear from context or case-marking [and]... the verb appears 
finally.” Shafeev (1964: 55) claims that the indirect object preferentially precedes the 
direct object in the Kandahari dialect. 


11.3.1.3 Locative alternation 

Takahashi (2008) explores the phenomenon of locative alternation in Pashto. She shows 
that three-argument predicates such as load, spray, and smear, which express the 
caused movement of material into or onto a location, allow either the undergoer of 
the activity or the location affected to appear as a nuclear term; the remaining argu¬ 
ment appears in an adpositional phrase. This is in keeping with Pashto’s limit of two 
distinct noun phrases per clause. 

(11.38) Bill lar-ay da... bus-o ...na 

Bill wagon-SG.F[DIR] from... hay-PL.M.OBL ...from 

bar-aw-i 

load-do.CONT-PRES.3[SG.M] 

‘Bill is loading the wagon with hay.’ 

(11.39) Bill bus-0 pa lar-ay bar-aw-i 

Bill hay.DIR[PL.M] on wagon-SG.F[DIR] load-do.CONT-PRES.3[SG.M] 

‘Bill is loading hay onto the wagon.’ 

She shows further that whichever argument appears in the direct object function 
is the trigger of verb agreement in the past tense, and that either argument may also 



414 


Syntax 


appear as the subject of the construction that Babrakzai (as cited by Takahashi) identi¬ 
fies as passive (see Section 11.3.1.5), with both the actor argument and the other oblique 
argument available to appear in their respective adpositional phrases. 9 


(11.40) lar-ay da... Bill 

wagon-SG.F[DIR] from... Bill 


...laxwa pa bus-o bar 

from.side on hay-PL.M.OBL loaded 


sew-i da 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.SG.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 


‘The wagon has been loaded with hay by Bill.’ 


(11.41) bus-0 da... Bill ...laxwa pa lar-ay bar 

hay-DIR[PL.M] from... Bill from.side on wagon-SG.F[DIR] loaded 

sew-i di 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘The hay has been loaded onto the wagon by Bill.’ 


11.3.1.4 Adpositional phrases with oblique pronominal clitics 

According to Tegey & Robson (1996:172), if an adpositional phrase includes an oblique 
pronominal clitic as its object, that adpositional phrase will generally precede the verb 
immediately, with the pronominal cliticizing to the verb. 


11.3.1.5 Passive clauses 

Pashto does not have a clearly distinguishable morphological or periphrastic passive. 
Descriptions produced well into the 20th century (including Penzl 1955) often con¬ 
found Pashto’s split ergativity with the existence of a passive construction. Grammars 
produced later usually do not include this confound; however, they may identify the 
construction described here as a passive, a position we do not concur with. Like us, 
Tegey (1979) explicitly denies the existence of a distinct passive construction. 

The construction identified by some contemporary linguists as a passive comprises 
a special case of denominal verbs, a phenomenon discussed at greater length in Sec¬ 
tion 8.2.5.5.2. The verbal part of the construction consists of a form of the verbalizer 
J Jjf /kedal/ ‘to become’ and a verbal complement. This complement appears in the 
infinitive form, as shown in the examples that follow. This construction does have the 
properties characteristic of passives that it alters the canonical termhood of actors and 
undergoers. The undergoer of the action is expressed as the grammatical subject of the 


9 The form /i/ for the participial endings originates with Takahashi, and is one we have not 
otherwise encountered. Similarly, we have not otherwise seen the long /a/ of the tie-verb in 11.40. 



Main clause sentence types 


415 


sentence, and that noun is case-marked direct and triggers verb agreement (in both 
tenses); or, as with active sentences, the subject may be expressed through the verb 
agreement suffix alone, as in example 11.46. 

(11.42) . cijJJ -Cb 4_>c^ 4A& j! 4A& 

haya sar-ay aw hay a xacka-0 dwar-a 

that.DIR man-M.DIR and that.DIR woman-F.DIR both-PL.M.DIR 

bayad wa-waz-al s-i 

NEC AOR-kill-INF become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘Both that man and that woman must be killed.’ 

(11.43) 4J jys Ui* 4Jj y» [‘‘S'] 

[ka] yuxtdn-e mo wa-na man-al 

[if] request-PL.F.DIR 1PL.WK AOR-NEG accept-INF 

s-i muzahar-o ta ba 

become.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[PL.F] protest-PL.F.OBL to WOULD 

dawam-0 warkr-u 

continuation-M.DIR give.AOR-IPL 

‘If our requests are not accepted, we will continue our protests.’ 

(11.44) *4j 

pa kunar-0 ke da dw-o waddn-ayo 

in... Kunar-M ...in of two-PL.F.OBL building-PL.F.OBL 

bansat-0 kexud-al so-0 

foundation-M.DIR place-INF become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘The foundations of two buildings were laid in Kunar.’ 10 

The actor, if expressed, will most likely appear in an adpositional phrase governed 
by the circumposition <J... j /da...la xwa/ or /da...la lure/(as seen 

in examples 11.45 and 11.46 and in Section 9.5.1.3). However, Tegey (1979) asserts that 
there is no dedicated means of marking an agent within this construction, and James 
Caron has remarked (p.c.), “any [adposition] that gets the semantic job [of marking the 
agent] done is a suitable candidate.” 

10 Standardized version of 11.44: .j-i qc— . jj j jja a ^ 



416 


Syntax 


(11.45) . ^ J j----**—- * "■ <S> - ^- 

wrande suw-e tarha-0 da walas 

before become.AOR.PST-PTCP.F.DIR draft-F.DIR of people 

masar-0 Karz-i la lur-e man-al 

elder-M.OBL Karzai-M.OBL from side-F.OBL accept-INF 

suw-e 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.F.DIR 

‘The presented drafts have been accepted by President Karzai.’ 11 

(11.46) 4j l j~j \fljj \j£~ a) jl 2 

■ fJ <-Sj^ 

£so wrack-e wrande da muhasil-ino aw 

some day-F.OBL before of student-PL.M.OBL and 

dzwdn-dno narewal-e tulan-e la 

young-PL.M.ANIM.OBL international-F.OBL society-F.OBL from 

xwa-0 yaw-a kanfdrans-0 fa bal-al 

side-F.OBL one-M.OBL conference-M.OBL to invite-INF 

suw-ay warn 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.lSG 

‘A few days ago, I was invited to a conference by the International Society of 
Students and Young People.’ 

An embedded instance of this construction may modify a noun; like most noun 
modifiers, it precedes the head: 


11 Standardized version of 11.45: Id j : 



Main clause sentence types 


417 


(11.47) J 0\y>- Aj ^ 4j jjUl ^ k-5oLi 

• J'j v by - 

da daktar-0 zakir-0 nayak-0 la lur-e 

of doctor-M.OBL Zakir-M.OBL Nayak-M.OBL from side-F.OBL 

lik-al suw-i asar-o pa 

write-INF become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR writing-PL.M.OBL in... 

ckwan-0 khol-0 ke xora minawal-0 

young-M generation-M ...in many admirer-PL.M.DIR 

0-mund-al-i 

CONT-find.PST-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

‘The works that were written by Dr. Zakir Naik have become popular with 
young people.’ 12 


11.3.2 Interrogatives 

Pashto uses the same word order for questions as for statements, with interrogative 
elements, if any, in the place where they would be expected if they were not interroga¬ 
tives. Questions in Pashto can be differentiated from statements through the presence 
of the particle associated with yes-or-no and affirmation questions, or of the interrog¬ 
ative pronouns used for information questions, or, in speech, through intonation. 


11.3.2.1 Yes-or-no questions with the particle U /aya/ 

Pashto uses the interrogative particle U /aya/ to introduce yes-or-no questions. It is 
thought to be more characteristic of Western dialects than others. 

(11.48) CSiJi b $ 

aya ta dod-ay 0-xwar-al-e 

Q 2SG.STR.OBL food-F.DIR CONT-eat.PST-PST-PTCP.F.DIR 

da 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 
‘Have you eaten yet?’ <sm 


12 Standardized version of 11.47: ^ ij .s jjlfl JSfJ tjjji d i_Soli jSTi J 



418 


Syntax 


In addition, the existence or presence of something may be queried by means of 
the existential particle Axi /sta/; 11.49 is an example. 

(11.49) 

zalm-ay sta 

Zalmay-M.DIR EXT 

‘Is Zalmay there?’ 


11.3.2.2 Information questions with interrogative pronouns 

As discussed in Section 7.6, the human interrogative pronoun is y>- /tsok/ (direct) 
or U- /ca/ ‘who?’ (oblique), and Table 11.3, reproduced here from Section 10.2.6, lists 
other interrogative terms. 


Pashto 

Translation 

wali 

‘why?’ 

dS” kala 

‘when?’ 

aJ- tsa waxt, sa waxt 

‘when (what time)?’ 

<Sjfr CGN, ^ ere 

‘where?’ 

aj j^>- certa 

‘where?’ 

tsanga, sanga 

‘how?’ 

d£j ji- tsaranga, saranga 

‘how (what manner)?’ 


Table 11.3: GP additional interrogative adverbs 


Example 11.50 shows that interrogative elements appear in the position character¬ 
istic of their grammatical function; here, the identity of the undergoer of the action is 
being asked about, and the interrogative element appears in direct object position. 

(11.50) 'saaIjj ^Jj 

zalm-i tsok wd-wah-9 

Zalmay-M.OBL who.DIR A0R-hit-PST.3SG.M 

‘Whom did Zalmay hit?’ 




Main clause sentence types 


419 


Example 11.51 shows that verb agreement sanctions the omission of the subject 
noun for questions just as it does for statements. 

(11.51) 

tsok 0-win-e 
who.DIR CONT-see.PRS-2SG 

‘Whom do you see?’ <sm 

Section 7.7 explains the use of the number name jj /yaw/ ‘one’ to differentiate 
between indefinite statements and information questions, given that there may be no 
word order difference between them. 

11.3.2.3 Affirmation questions with the particle aS~ /ka na/ 

Affirmation questions are formed through use of the particle *3 aS" /lo na/. This is 
exemplified in Section 10.1.3, which shows that both the question and its answer may 
be marked with the same particle, and both show normal Pashto word order. 


11.3.3 Imperatives 

11.3.3.1 The imperative verb form 

Pashto utilizes an imperative verb form. This is described in Section 8.5.2.5 and Table 
8.48, with associated word forms summarized in Section 8.3.5 and Section 8.3.6. The 
addressee subject is generally omitted from the sentence, although a name may be 
used, case-marked vocative, as in 11.52: 

(11.52) tA-^Jj 

zalm-aya wd-dar-eg-a 

Zalmay-M.VOC AOR-stop-PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Zalmay, stop!’ (NW) 

(11.53) ! 43 AjiA Lj Aj 

ta biya haya zulm-una tikrar-aw-dl-0 

2SG.STR.DIR then this.DIR abuse-PL.M.DIR repeated-do-INF-PL.M.DIR 

0-ywar-e rdy-0 s-ay 

CONT-want.PRS-2SG healthy-M.DIR become.AOR.PRS-IMP.PL 

‘You want to repeat those horrors? Get a clue!’ 

Use of the imperative verb form is not the only way to express a command. Sugges¬ 
tions or polite commands may be conveyed with the use of the second person present 
aorist form of the verb; see Section 8.5.2.2 for more explanation and examples. 



420 


Syntax 


11.3.3.2 The negative imperative particle /ma/ 

Normally /ma/ precedes a verb in the imperative form to create a negative command. 
See also example 11.54, in which the particle /ma/ instead appears sentence finally. 
In example 11.55, the negative imperative appears inside a direct quotation. 

(11.54) !<u a^T OLi 4 j i 

da ahmad-0 pa san-0 kez-a 

of Ahmad-M.OBL INSTR manner-M become.CONT.PRS-IMP.SG 

ma 

NEG.IMP 

‘Don't be like Ahmad!’ (SW) 

(11.55) . 45 4j>- aJujj 45 1j 4j 

asad-0 pa xanda-0 xanda-0 ra-ta 

Asad-M.DIR INSTR laugh-F.OBL laugh-F.OBL 1-to 

wa-way-dl-d ca sinima-0 ta ma 

AOR-tell.PST-PST-3PL.M COMP cinema-F.OBL to NEG 

ck-a 

go.CONT.PRS-IMP.SG 

‘Asad laughed and said to me, 'Don't go to the movies.” 

Notice that example 11.56 exhibits negative concord. 

(11.56) lajS' 4^3 41S*" 

hits kala yeybat-0 ma kaw-a 

never when backbiting-M.DIR NEG.IMP do.CONT-IMP.SG 

‘Never backbite!’ 

(11.57) 4^j 4jj^S-J JaJlP La 4j JJJJ ^ 

da xpal-0 wror-0 pa bab-0 yalat-0 

of own-M.OBL brother-M.OBL on subject-M wrong-PL.M.DIR 

fikr-una ma kaw-ay 

thought-PL.M.DIR NEG.IMP do.CONT-IMP.PL 

‘Don't think badly about your brother!’ 



Main clause sentence types 


421 


11.3.4 Generic and existential sentences with As-i /sta/ 

Generic and existential sentences are formed using the clause-final particle As-i /sta/, 
as outlined in Section 10.1.1. 

(11.58) AxJJ ^ ajj ^ Aj a y>j>- aUi Aj a&3- 

. bU 

cfea/ca pa dunya-0 ke tsumra zah-e ce 

because in... world-M ...in so.many language-PL.F.DIR COMP 

di xo pa duy ke dase yaw-a ham na 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.F but in... 3PL.STR. ...in such one-F.DIR also NEG 

sta ce be mana-0 wi 

EXT COMP without meaning-F.OBL be.A0R.PRS.3SG.F 

‘While there are many languages in the world, there is not one that is without 
meaning.’ 13 

(11.59) . AjUA AjjjbS” A_ji Aj>t>- U 

ma tsexa dre xa kitab-una sta 

1SG.STR.OBL from three good book-PL.M.DIR EXT 

‘I have three good books.’ 


11.3.5 Other principles of word order in main clauses 
11.3.5.1 Weak pronouns 

Because weak pronouns must appear in second position in the clause, the order of 
two pronouns may violate the basic S - 0 - V ordering in main clauses. In sentences 
11.60 and 11.61, the weak pronoun is in second position irrespective of its role in the 
sentence; verb agreement allows for unambiguous interpretations. 

(11.60) .|*Aj aj 

za de 0-wah-am 

1SG.STR.DIR 2.WI< CONT-beat-lSG 

‘I am hitting you.’ 


13 Standardized version of 11.58: aj ^ syy- aba aj aSs>- 

■ iSj l)U y ^ 



422 


Syntax 


(11.61) iji «j 

za de 0-wah-dl-dm 

1SG.STR.DIR 2.WI< CONT-beat-PST-lSG 

‘You were hitting me.’ 

Similarly, in example 11.62, the verb must precede the pronoun, in contrast with 
11.63, where the strong pronoun can occur before the verb, because it is not prohibited 
from appearing in clause-initial position. Compare the unacceptable 11.64. 

(11.62) .J fjj 

0-win-dm di 

CONT-see.PRS-lSG 2.WI< 

‘I see you.’ 

(11.63) 

ta 

2SG.STR.OBL 

‘I see you.’ ( swj 

(11.64) tji * 

di 0-win-dm 

2.WK CONT-see.PRS-lSG 

‘I see you.’ ( swj 

When a weak pronoun is the subject of a past tense transitive verb (see Section 
7.3.2), it may follow a direct object, as in example 11.65; an adpositional phrase, as in 
example 11.66; an adverb, as in example 11.67; or the complement of a denominal verb, 
as in example 11.68. 

(11.65) . ^ jL> jl 

aw xar-0 ye prexud-0 

and city-M.DIR 3.WI< AOR\leave.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘And they abandoned the city.’ 

(11.66) . 4j 

pd israyel-o ye yag-0 ker-ay 

on Israeli-PL.M.OBL 3.WI< voice-M.DIR do.AOR-PTCP.M.DIR 

‘They have called upon the Israelis.’ 


0-win-dm 

CONT-see.PRS-lSG 



Main clause sentence types 


423 


(11.67) . ijijj J ^g» lj>o 

pdxwa me dd jihad-0 niyat-0 

before 1SG.WK of Jihad-M.OBL intention-M.DIR 

darlod-0 

have.A0R.PST-PST.3SG.M 

‘Previously, I intended [to undertake] a Jihad.’ 

(11.68) • • • <j>- ^ Aj-Lj j\ 

aw ziyat-a ye kr-a ce 

and more-F.DIR 3.WK do.AOR-PST.3SG.F COMP 

‘And he added that...’ 

Example 11.69 shows that the weak pronoun may be the next element after an en¬ 
tire noun phrase, and may therefore not be the second word. It contrasts with sentence 
11.70, which shows that the sentence-initial position for pronouns may acceptably be 
filled with a strong pronoun. 

(11.69) • ^ 

der-0 tut-0 me wd-xur-dl 

many-PL.M.DIR mulberry-PL.M.DIR 1SG.WK A0R-eat.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘I ate many mulberries.’ 

(11.70) . U 

ma oh-a wd-tsdk-dl-e 

1SG.STR.OBL water-PL.F.DIR A0R-drink-PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘I drank water.’ (NW) 

Given that a weak pronoun cannot appear sentence-initially, it may instead ap¬ 
pear in post-clausal position. This is shown in example 11.71, to be contrasted with the 
unmarked order of 11.72. 

(11.71) V Jj 

wali mac-aw-i me 

why kiss-do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.M] 1SG.WK 

‘Why is he kissing me?’ (NW) 



424 


Syntax 


(11.72) ^ Jj 

wali me mac-aw-i 

why 1SG.WK kiss-do.C0NT-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Why is he kissing me?’ (NW) 


11.3.5.2 Particles 

Section 11.2.3.2 provides a comprehensive discussion of the order of particles with re¬ 
spect to verbs. See also Table 11.1 and Table 11.2 for summaries of the order of negative 
particles with respect to other segments of the verb. Other discussions of particle order 
are found throughout Chapter 8. 


11.3.5.3 Adpositional phrases in main clauses 

Adpositional phrases may be governed by verbs, nouns, and deverbal nouns. In gen¬ 
eral, adpositional phrase modifiers precede the element they modify, as shown above 
in the contrast between example 11.3, and 11.73. 

(11*73) . <J ^ 4j 

taxtaw-al suw-i kargar-an 

kidnap-INF become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR worker-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

pa fara-0 ke xose sw-al 

in... Farah-M ...in released become.A0R.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘The kidnapped workers were released in Farah.’ 


11.3.5.4 Interpretation of adpositional phrases headed by :> /da/ 

As shown in Section 9.3.1.1, noun modifiers governed by i /da/ ‘of’ are extremely com¬ 
mon and may be nested within one another. Another feature of these phrases is that 
any such phrase may appear in pre-clausal position 14 . Example 11.57 shows this, and 
shows also that this may result in the effect of a complex circumpositional phrase. Ex¬ 
ample 11.145 shows that a phrase governed by i /da/ may appear extracted from its 
governing phrase—in this case, the phrase governed by the circumposition. The ap¬ 
pearance of such a phrase in this pre-clausal position does not necessarily put that 
phrase in focus. 


14 Roberts (2000:121ff.) discusses the separation of possessive clitics from their possessee 
phrases in terms of an apparent possessor raising construction. That concept could account for this 
phenomenon, too, aside from the fact that ^ /da/ ‘of’ encodes a much wider range of relations than 
possession. 



Some subordinate clause types 


425 


11.4 Some subordinate clause types 

The complementizer /ca/—also ^ /ce/ in Eastern and ^ /ci/ in Western dialects— 

can introduce numerous types of subordinate clauses, including relative clauses, re¬ 
ported speech, verb-governed subordinate clauses, and adverbial clauses. All tensed 
subordinate clauses except verb complements require the complementizer (Pate, 2012). 


11.4.1 Relative clauses 

According to Babrakzai (1999), as cited by Pate (2012: 79ff), non-restrictive relative 
clauses are signaled prosodically by pauses, orthographically by commas (though this 
does not always differentiate them from restrictive relative clauses), and syntactically 
by allowing a second position clitic to intervene between the head noun and the rela¬ 
tive clause: 

(11.74) ahmad ha, ca os pa... jarmani ...ki os-ufi, 

Ahmad WOULD COMP now in... Germany ...in reside-PRS-3[SG.M] 

saba zma kor-0 ta ras-i 

tomorrow 1SG.STR.OBL house-M.OBL to come.AOR.PRS-3[SG.M] 

‘Ahmad, who now lives in Germany, will come to my house tomorrow.’ 

The rest of this section concerns restrictive relative clauses. Relative clauses in 
Pashto all employ the complementizer /ca/, sometimes combined with another 
item (which may be classifiable as a resumptive element). The analysis of relative clauses 
in Tegey & Robson (1996: 206-208) implies that the head noun must be definite; we 
believe rather that the condition is for specificity, not definiteness (sentence 11.78 has 
a specific indefinite item in the determiner position); the general condition accords 
with Pate’s claim (Pate, 2012) that all finite subordinate clauses are determiner (i.e. 
complementizer) phrases with noun-phrase complements. 

(11.75) . t_£OjJ jv >- 47 

haya bay-0 ta cb-am ca 

that.OBL garden-M.OBL to go.CONT.PRS-lSG COMP 

tut-0 0-lar-i 

mulberry-PL.M.DIR CONT-have.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘I am going to the garden that has the mulberries.’ 



426 


Syntax 


(11.76) ai ajljji 4j>- 4A& 

/toya /cor-0 ca darwaza-0 ye sn-a 

that.DIR house-M.DIR COMP door-F.DIR 3.WK blue-F.DIR 

da 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘the house the door of which is blue’ 

Relative clauses that modify subjects generally follow their subjects immediately; 
however, relative clauses that modify objects appear in the post-clausal position (Tegey 
& Robson, 1996:208), as shown in 11.75 and 11.77; contrast these with 11.79, where the 
relative clause immediately follows its head. 

(11.77) i Y as^J- ^j>- Jjjj YfiY • • .jSsJjJl aJjLj ^ 

. aj ^^ a-tpL&jl 4j 

be pilot-a alotek-o ... 252 tdrhagdr-0 

without pilot-M.ABL airplane-PL.M.DIR ... 252 terrorist-PL.M.DIR 

ye wa-waz-al ce da haywi la jaml-e 

3.WK AOR-kill-PST.3PL.M COMP of 3PL.STR.OBL from... total-F.OBL 

tsexa 12 kas-an pa al-qeda-0 pori 

...from 12 person-PL.M.ANIM.DIR on Al-Qaida-M.OBL complete 

0-tr-al-i wa 

CONT-tie-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3PL.M 

‘Drones killed 252 terrorists, of whom twelve were definitively tied to Al-Qaida.’ 
Notice too that in sentence 11.77, the full noun phrase identifying the actor is ap¬ 
parently in pre-clausal position, with a resumptive weak pronoun appearing before 
the verb (see also Roberts 2000:176-177 for a fuller description of the conditions on 
the appearance of resumptive pronouns). 

4j 4A& jS” A>- 

xa kar-una kaw-i 

good work-PL.M.DIR do.CONT-PRS.3[SG.M] 

hay a pa mrina-0 ham 

3SG.M.STR.DIR in death-F.DIR also 

yad-ez-i 

remembered-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘He who does good deeds is remembered even after his death.’ ( swj 


(11.78) pJA AJJ 

tsok ca 
who.DIR COMP 



Some subordinate clause types 


427 


(11.79) . oJ-Jj 43 a 4>- aA& <jLd^>- 

xusal-0 haya sacka-0 ca zarang-0 sara 

Xushal-M.OBL that.DIR woman-F.DIR COMP Zarang-M.OBL COMIT 

0-yag-eg-i nd wa-lid-a 

CONT-speak-PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] NEG AOR-see-PST.PST.3SG.F 

‘Xushal didn't see the woman who was talking with Zarang.’ rswi 15 

(11.80) ‘{£2 fljljj A^S"" 5 J Aj jljL Aj>- 

haya hdldk-0 ca bazar-0 ta 

that.DIR boy-M.DIR COMP market-M.OBL to 

tl-al-ay wa da gabina-0 

go.CONT.PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.C0NT.PST.3SG.M of Gabina-F.OBL 

wrar-a day 

nephew-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘The boy who went to the market is Gabina's nephew.’ (S w) 

Among others studying relativization, Pate (2012) shows that any argument type- 
subjects, direct objects, and adpositional objects, regardless of nominative-accusative 
or ergative-absolutive alignment—may relativize (under conditions discussed below). 
His analysis shows also that relative clauses employ resumptive pronouns whose dis¬ 
tribution reflects split ergativity: in present-tense relative clauses relativizing on nomi¬ 
native arguments, no overt resumptive pronoun appears, while accusative arguments 
require an overt pronoun (see also Babrakzai 1999 and Roberts 2000:152ff). In past- 
tense relative clauses, direct objects and intransitive subjects do not have a correspond¬ 
ing overt resumptive pronoun, while transitive subjects do (as in 11.81). This follows 
from the occurrence restrictions described in Section 7.3.2.1; see Table 7.9. 

(11.81) . Jj 0LSX> { j>- Jjjj t 9 

dwa belabel-o cawdan-o 16 kas-an 

two separate-PL.F.OBL explosion-PL.F.OBL 16 person-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

wa-waz-al ce der ye mulk-ian 

AOR-kill-PST.3PL.M COMP many 3.WK civilian-PL.M.ANIM.DIR 

wal 

be.CONT.PST.3PL.M 

‘Two separate explosions killed 16 people, many of whom were civilians.’ 

15 Standardized version of 11.79: . aJj <Uj jLi_p- 



428 


Syntax 


Pate (2012) reanalyzes the assertion in Tegey (1979) that ergative subjects cannot 
head relative clauses. Fully nominal, ergative arguments cannot co-occur with restric¬ 
tive relative clause modifiers; instead, the subject function is filled with a pronoun (or 
by agreement), and the coreferential nominal, case-marked direct and with its relative 
clause modifier, appears in pre-clausal position, as evidenced by the second-position 
clitic 4 j /ba/ (example is from Pate 2012: 80); contrast this with sentence 11.74 above: 


(11.82) haya sarei ca lungota ye par sar-0 kar-e 

that man.DIR COMP turban 3.WK on head-M.DIR do.PTCP-SG.F 

da saba ba rds-i 

be.3SG.F tomorrow WOULD come.PRS.-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘That man who is wearing a turban will come tomorrow.’ 

When the subordinate clause relativizes on a location expression, a^- /ca/ is often 
preceded by the interrogative adverb y- /carta/ ‘where’ or followed by the locative 
adverbial /halta/ ‘there’ (see sentence 11.83). 


(11.83) jl jj ^ “Si djlj ^ ji\S~ jj 4j 

• Ji y-! Aj AxU y>- 

pa har-o lumr-ayo kal-o ke ce 

in... every-PL.M.OBL first-PL.M.OBL year-PL.M.OBL ...in COMP 

istixdam-0 keg-i bayad pa kdbul-0 

hired-PL.M.DIR become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3PL.M NEC in... Kabul-M.OBL 

ke yaw-0 masax-0 aw masun-0 ckay-0 

...in one-M.DIR private-M.DIR and safe-M.DIR place-M.DIR 

wa-lar-u ce halta pa lumr-ayo do-0 

AOR-have.PRS-IPL COMP there in... first-PL.M.OBL two-PL.M.OBL 


miyast-o ke xpal-e mil-i zab-e 

month-PL.M.OBL ...in own-PL.F.DIR comrade-ADJZ language-PL.F.DIR 


zda-0 kr-i 

learned-PL.F.DIR do.AOR-PRS.3PL.M 


‘In the first years in which they are hired, we must have a private and safe 
place in Kabul where they will study their national languages for the first two 
months.’ 


11.4.2 Noun complement clauses 

Nouns that denote states or events (such as aj yj /tajraba/ ‘experience’ in 11.84) can 
govern a subordinate clause expressing the content of that state or event. As is the case 



Some subordinate clause types 


429 


for the heads of relative clauses, heads of complement clauses must have a determiner. 
Here the complement clause appears in post-clausal position. 


(11.84) . . . ( ^Ji 4j... 

. ai ^Lcwvjljj ajj 2 XXpjj jj jl 2 


iji i Liol i 

L 


da asiya-0 taymz-0 
of Asia-F.OBL Times-M.OBL 


da de matlab-0 likwal-0 

of this.OBL study-M.OBL author-M.DIR 


... da tajraba-0 0-lar-al-e 

... this.DIR experience-F.DIR CONT-have-PST-PTCP.F.DIR 


da ce ... narina ... biya da xack-o 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F COMP ... men ... then of woman-PL.F.OBL 


aw njun-o par zid-0 da jagr-e yaw-a jabhha-0 

and girl-PL.F.OBL on opposite-M of war-F.OBL one-F.DIR front-F.DIR 

pranist-al-e da 

CONT\open.PST-PST-PTCP.F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘The author of the Asia Times study has had the experience that men have 
started another war against women and children.’ 

Complements of nouns may also take the form of infinitive verbal nouns governed 
by adpositions; see sentence 11.85. 


(11.85) 1 ^ a^Ssjjj djJ ^ 

. Qj 0/jJ J l / 

afyanistan-0 ta da dirs zar-a izafi 

Afghanistan-M.OBL to of thirty thousand-PL.M.DIR additional 

sartir-i da leg-al-o la par-a 

soldiers-M.OBL of send-INF-PL.M.OBL from sake-M.ABL 

prelqa-0 ye da jamhuri riyasat-0 pa dawrn-0 ke 

decision-F.DIR 3.WK of national office-M.OBL in... term-F.DIR ...in 

far tul-o saxt-a prekra-0 wa 

up.to all-PL.M.OBL difficult-F.DIR decision-F.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.F 

‘The decision to send an additional thirty thousand soldiers to Afghanistan 
was the hardest decision of his presidential term.’ 


11.4.3 Verb complement clauses 

Verb complement clauses, sometimes called subordinate noun clauses, are also intro¬ 
duced with the complementizer /ca/ ‘that’. When a subordinate clause is an ar- 



430 


Syntax 


gument of the predicate, it is likely to appear in post-clausal position. In this case the 
demonstrative pronoun ta /da/ may appear in the usual position of the subject (Tegey 
& Robson, 1996:199-200), as shown in sentences 11.86 and 11.87. 

(11.86) . (_£ XJ-j j cjfb 

xatarnak-0 wu ca yawazi wu-gardk-ed-e 

danger-M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.M COMP alone A0R-walk-PST-2SG 

‘It was dangerous that you were walking alone.’ tsw 

(11.87) . j j b 

da xatarnak-0 wu ca yawazi 

this.DIR danger-M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.M COMP alone 

wu-garck-ed-e 

A0R-walk-PST-2SG 

‘It was dangerous that you were walking alone.’ csw 

It is more common to find verb-governed a subordinate clause as the internal ar¬ 
gument: 

(11.88) >£2 ^ jj o 4j>- 

taso puh-ez-ay ca 

2PL.STR.DIR learned-become.CONT.PRS-2PL COMP 

zar-0 xa gran-0 

precious.metal-PL.M.DIR very expensive-M.DIR 

di 

be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M 

‘You know that gold is a very expensive thing.’ <m 

When the main clause verb is in the past tense, split ergativity dictates that the 
agreement be with the subordinate clause, which by convention is marked third person 
plural masculine (this default agreement registration also holds of infinitive verbal 
noun arguments; see sentence 11.85). Example 11.89 shows a past tense transitive verb, 
Jj j /wayal/ ‘to tell’, in the past continuous aspect, and with the agreement suffix for 
the subordinate clause. 


sr-a 

gold-PL.M.DIR 

say-0 

thing-M.DIR 



Some subordinate clause types 


431 


(11.89) . aj-i i jjj jjj ^ Jjj ^ aj 

wrusta bd me mor-0 0-way-al 

later WOULD 1SG.WK mother-F.OBL CONT-tell.PST-PST.3PL.M 

ce wrusta oro oro da man-ay faza-0 

COMP later slow slow of house-F.OBL atmosphere-F.DIR 

yamjan-a sw-a 

sad-F.DIR become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘Afterwards my mother would say that the house's atmosphere slowly grew 
sorrowful.’ 

When appearing with control verbs such as /ywar-/ ‘to want’ and S 
/kosis kaw-/ ‘to try’, the embedded verb will be in the present aorist as in 11.90 (see 
Section 8.3.2). An example showing the main subject controlling the embedded subject 
is found in 11.91. 

(11.90) ^ Ah«l aJ ^jv ^^ l5^ ^ ^ ^yJ 

•is/ <J- y* crT t 

loy-ay tsaranwal-ay pa intixabat-o ke da 

large-F.OBL lawyer-F.OBL in... elections-PL.M.OBL ...in of 

suw-io prax-o daryal-io la 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.PL.F.OBL vast-PL.F.OBL fraud-PL.F.OBL from 

amal-a la star-e mahkam-e 

reason-M.ABL from high-F.OBL court-F.OBL 

0-yuxt-i ce natayij-0 ye 

CONT-want.PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR COMP results-PL.M.DIR 3.WK 

bat-al elan kr-i 

invalidate-INF announcement do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘The Attorney General wanted the Supreme Court to declare the election 
results invalid due to widespread fraud.’ 



432 


Syntax 


(11.91) 4j jA 4j ^ i 

• ^ ^ Ja Qjj\yj 4jw®^j 5j*j\ o U. ij U j^j y^z o ^ j ^ p" y^ j ' y 1 yp 

da afyanistan-0 dd pohdn-e wizarat-0 

of Afghanistan-M.OBL of education-F.OBL ministry-M.DIR 

0 -way-;' ce 0-ywar-i dd 

CONT-tell.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] COMP CONT-want.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] of 


yundsko pd mdrasta-0 dd 
UNESCO INSTR help-F.DIR of 


hewad-0 pd xar-uno 

country-M.OBL in... city-PL.M.OBL 


aw kal-io ke dd zdakawunk-o Id 

and village-PL.M.OBL ...in of student-PL.M.OBL from 

yaw-0 san rozdniz-a zamina-0 

one-M.DIR similar educational-F.DIR opportunity-F.DIR 


par-a 

sake-M.ABL 

barabar-a 

prepared-F.DIR 


kr-i 

do.AOR-PRS.3[SG.M] 


‘Afghanistan's Ministry of Education says that it wants to provide similar 
educational opportunities to students in both cities and villages with the help 
of UNESCO.’ 

/ca/ may also introduce a subordinate clause serving as the second element 
in a copular construction. 


(11.92) . 4j>- 

omed-0 day cd sola-0 bd 

hope-M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M COMP peace-F.DIR WOULD 

ras-i 

come.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘The hope is that peace will come.’ 


11.4.3.1 Reported speech 

Verbs of speaking may govern clausal complements. Pashto accepts both direct and in¬ 
direct forms of reported speech (although Penzl 1955:141 claims that only direct speech 
is found in Kandahari). The complementizer /ca/ is optional for introducing direct 
speech, as sentence 11.93 demonstrates, but it is obligatory for indirect speech, as in 
sentences 11.94 and 11.95. Note the use of the present-tense form of the verb in the sub¬ 
ordinate clause in 11.95 rather than a relative-tense expression. In example 11.55, the 
verb form is present-tense and imperative, as we would expect of quoted speech. 



Some subordinate clause types 


433 


(11.93) . / Ua>- ^ 4J U- <_£jjj jl 4j Jjjj jj 

yaw sar-i wa-way-al za tar 

one man-M.OBL AOR-tell.PST-PST.3PL.M 1SG.STR.DIR up.to... 

os-a pure ca na yam xata 

now-M.ABL ...up.to who.OBL NEG be.CONT.PRS.lSG mistake 

kar-ay 

do.AOR-PTCP.M.DIR 

‘A man said, 'No one has tricked me yet'.’ 16 

(11.94) j! 3 yy l ay* aJ ^ 

da wa-way-al ce da afydnistdn-0 

3SG.M.STR.OBL AOR-tell.PST-PST.3PL.M COMP of Afghanistan-M.OBL 

la walas masar-0 sara yawzay hatsa-0 

COMIT... people elder-M.OBL ...COMIT together effort-F.DIR 

kaw-i ce da sol-e aw 

do.CONT-PRS.3 [SG.M] COMP of peace-F.OBL and 

paxlayan-e prosa-0 baryal-e 

reconciliation-F.OBL process-F.DIR successful-F.DIR 

s-i 

become. AOR.PRS-PRS.3 [SG.F] 

‘He said that he and the president of Afghanistan are working together to 
make the peace and reconciliation process a success.’ 

(11.95) . 4- 4^^lj dCj. Aj j£- 3 ASs^>j Aj>- Aj \y>y 

paxwa xalq-u ba da 0-way-al 

before people-PL.M.OBL WOULD this.DIR C0NT-tell.PST-PST.3PL.M 

ca zmaka-0 da yway-i pa xkar-0 walar-a 

COMP earth-F.DIR of ox-M.OBL on horn-M standing-F.DIR 

da 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘Formerly people would say that the earth rested on the horn of an ox.’ os 


16 Standardized version of 11.93: -xS_f lk>- y At U- iSjy a~.jI J aj J ijj i£y y 



434 


Syntax 


11.4.4 Subordinate clauses as modifiers 
11.4.4.1 Subordinate clauses with time reference 

Clausal modifiers take the usual form of complementizer /ca/ and tensed clause. 
In some cases, the subordinate clause is the object of an adposition such as jjj 
(A j). .. aJ /wrusta la...(na) ca/ ‘after’ (as in 11.96). 

(11.96) Aj Aj ^ aj>- cF^ a) ax*^s^^ 

wrusta la de ca dod-ay mo 

after from this.OBL COMP food-F.DIR 1PL.WK 

wa-xor-a sinima-0 ta ba lar-0 

A0R-eat.PST-PST.3SG.F cinema-F.OBL to WOULD gone-PL.M.DIR 

s-u 

become.AOR.PRS-IPL 

‘We will go to the movies after we eat dinner.’ ism 
• a>- a1 S~ /lola ca/ ‘when’ 

(11.97) . Aj jjS <S jo ^ ^ oJ ^ ^ Aj>- Ads' 

kala ca diwa-0 da toryal-0 pa xor-0 

when COMP Diwa-F.DIR of Toryal-M.OBL on sister-F.OBL 

xabr-a sw-a samdasti da 

informed-F.DIR become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.F immediately of 

duy kor-0 ta lar-a 

3PL.STR.DIR house-M.OBL to go.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘When Diwa heard about Toryal's sister she immediately went to their house.’ 

(SW) 

This relationship may sometimes be expressed with the complementizer alone: 

(11.98) . Jj-i \3j£- a jj jj j-i \3jf- aa>- 

ca jahaz-0 yarq-0 su-0 no 

COMP ship-M.DIR sinking-M.DIR become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M then 

xalaq-0 wur sara yarq-0 

people-PL.M.DIR 3 COMIT sinking.PL.M.DIR 

sw-al 

become. AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘When the ship sank, people were drowned along with it.’ ( ne) 



Some subordinate clause types 


435 


• <b>- /tsanga ca/ ‘as soon as’ 

(11.99) . Aj aj <S^ 4s? 

tsanga ca day ras-i 

how COMP 3SG.M.STR.DIR come.AOR.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

za ba lar-0 s-am 

1SG.STR.DIR WOULD gone-M.DIR become.AOR.PRS-lSG 

‘I will leave as soon as he comes.’ ( swj 

• aj>- o>-j AiA /haya waxt ca/ ‘when’ 

(11.100) .JJ ^^4 'Jj Aj>- A^A 

haya waxt-0 ca wulas masr-0 obama-0 

this.DIR time-M.DIR COMP people leader-M.OBL Obama-M.OBL 

xabr-e kaw-al-ay tol-o ywaz-0 

word-PL.M.DIR do.CONT-PST-PST.3PL.F all-PL.M.OBL ear-M.DIR 

0-niw-al-ay wu 

CONT-seize.PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.M 

‘When President Obama was speaking everyone was listening.’ (sw> 


11.4.4.2 Conditional and counterfactual clauses with aS' /ka/ ‘if’ 

Conditional clauses in Pashto are marked by the particle aS~ /ka/ ‘if’. The conditional 
clause generally precedes the main clause, which may begin with the particle jj /no/ 
‘then’ (Tegey & Robson, 1996: 216). This construction requires that the verb in the an¬ 
tecedent clause appear in the present or past aorist; see Section 8.3.2 and Section 8.3.4 
for the appropriate verb forms. 

aS~ /ka/ may also appear as an element of a correlative conjunction (see Section 

11 . 6 . 2 ). 

(11.101) Aj 

ka rds-e 

if come.AOR.PRS-2SG 
kr-am 

do.AOR-lSG 
‘If you come I will show you the album.’ isw> 
aS~ /ka/ may also combine with other particles to introduce conditional clauses. 


a j 

za ba album-0 dar-skara 

1SG.STR.DIR WOULD album-M.DIR 2DVC-clear 



436 


Syntax 


• i_$ aS~ /lo ceri/ ‘if’ 

(11.102) . ^ Aj aj jj uSy^ Aj j 'Sjfz ^ 

ke ceri asad-0 wa-na gad-ez-i no 

if where Asad-M.DIR AOR-NEG dance-PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] then 

2 a ha ye wa-gadaw-am 

1SG.STR.DIR WOULD 3.WK AOR-cause.dance-lSG 

‘If Asad does not dance, I will make him dance.’ ( swj 

A counterfactual interpretation of an antecedent clause in construction with a 
main clause is possible when both the main and the antecedent clause have optative 
verb forms and the main clause additionally contains the irrealis aj /ba/. 

As shown in sentence 11.103, a counterfactual interpretation of the conditional 
clause relies on the verb appearing in the optative form, even when there is no main 
clause: 

(11.103) JJ ji- jy* 

kd mung imam-0 safi-0 yunde 

if 1PL.STR.0BL imam-M.OBL Shafi-M.OBL like 

masr-an darldd-ay 

leader-PL.M.DIR.ANIM have.AOR.PST-OPT 

‘If only we had leaders like Imam Shah!’ 


11.4.4.3 Subordinate clauses with /dzaka/‘because’ 

a&3- /(taka/ ‘because, therefore’ may mark either the cause clause or the result clause. 
Note the following variants of word order of a5 -J- /cbaka/, its correlative /no/, and their 
respective complements. 

(11.104) . jv* sj y Axjb 4j>- a^3~ 

dzaka ca haya mel-e ta 

because COMP 3SG.STR.DIR picnic-F.OBL to 

ck-i no za ham 

go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] then 1SG.STR.DIR also 

‘Since she is going to the picnic, then I am going too.’ 


ck-am 

go.CONT.PRS-lSG 

CSW) 



Some subordinate clause types — 437 

(11.105) . 4j jj j aj 

2 <a naroy-0 yam ckaka no daktar-0 

1SG.STR.DIR sick-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG because then doctor-M.OBL 

ta ck-am 

to go.CONT.PRS-lSG 

‘I am sick so I am going to the doctor.’ (S w) 

(11.106) iSoyil aj i£j- ^ 


* t ^ a 





yaw-a watal-i 

stor-i 

sarux-0 


xan-0 

one-M.OBL famous-M.OBL 

star-M.OBL 

Sharukh-M.OBL 

khan-M.OBL 

0-way-al-i 

di 


ye dzaka 


CONT-tell.PST-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3PL.M 3.WK because 

pa amrika-0 ke 0-niw-al-ay ce musalman 

in... America-F ...in CONT-seize.PST-PST-PTCP.M.DIR COMP muslim 

day 

be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘A famous celebrity, Sharukh Khan, has said that they arrested him in America 
because he was Muslim.’ 17 

It may be rarely that punctuation is used to delimit a subordinate clause in Pashto. 
Example 11.107 shows three instances of ^ /ce/ , bearing three different relation¬ 
ships to the sentence as a whole. The first introduces a relative clause that modifies 
its head noun; the second introduces the sentential complement of j /way-/ ‘say’; 
the third introduces the complement of the quantifier a y>y>- /sumra/ ‘so much’. 

17 Standardized version of 11.106: ISsj^I aj aSs £- ^ 0U- ‘y 



438 


Syntax 


(11.107) ^ j\j cj j[ju* i ^ Jjis” ^ ^■ > 

sj(>- (i _^“ ajIjj a _/*j^ ^jy^~ ^ ^ 

. iSjr*jlx** Aj I IjT a jj £ 

daya mahram-0 asnad-0 ce pd kabul-0 

this.DIR secret-PL.M.DIR documents-PL.M.DIR COMP in... Kabul-M 

ke dd amrika-0 safarat-0 barabar-0 

...in of America-F.OBL embassy-M.OBL prepared-PL.M.DIR 

kr-i di 0-way-i 

do.AOR-PTCP.PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3PL.M CONT-tell.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

ce dd afyanistan-0 pd hakumat-0 ke raswat 

COMP of Afghanistan-M.OBL in... government-M ...in bribe 

xor-i dumra ziyat-a da ce cara 

eating-F.DIR so.much more-F.DIR be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F COMP affair 

saz-i ye der-a gran-a 

wellness-F.DIR 3.WK very-F.DIR difficult-F.DIR 

malum-eg-i 

known-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘The secret documents that were prepared at the American Embassy in Kabul 
say that the bribery within Afghanistan's government is so extensive that 
resolving it has turned out to be very difficult.’ 


11.4.4.4 Subordinate clauses expressing result 

The particle y /no/, most often used in conditional sentences, may also be used alone 
to introduce a result clause; see sentence 11.108 for an example. 

(11.108) . jj J-Jj j'jAj 

kdla cd mdsum-ano xpdl-0 plar-0 

when COMP child-PL.M.ANIM.OBL own-M.DIR father-M.DIR 

wd-lid-0 no dafatan pd xanda-0 

AOR-see.PST-PST.3SG.M then suddenly INSTR laugh-F.DIR 

SW-dl 

become.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘The children suddenly started laughing when they saw their father.’ 
aj>- /ca/ may introduce clauses that show the direct result of an action or a state of 
being. Often, but not always, the main clause in such constructions uses the complement- 



Some subordinate clause types 


439 


taking quantifier o /dumra/ ‘so much’ (although Penzl (1955: 80.5) claims that this 
form is not colloquial among Kandahar speakers); see also example 11.107. 

(11.109) . ^ ai iJiji S/’J' 5 L* 

ma dumra dod-dy 0-xwar-dl-e 

1SG.STR.0BL so.much food-F.DIR CONT-eat.PST-PST-PTCP.F.DIR 

dd ci 0-wdlar-ed-dl-ay nd 

be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.F COMP CONT-stand-PST-PST-OPT NEG 

s-am 

become. A0R.PRS-1SG 

‘I have eaten so much that I cannot stand up.’ (S w) 


11.4.4.5 Subordinate clauses expressing reason 

• tS* /pa de ca/ ‘because’ 

(11.110) • jjj jy a J J l 

pa de ca lar-e wa motar-0 

in this.OBL COMP fog-PL.F.DIR be.C0NT.PST.3SG.F car-M.DIR 

me wro wa-calaw-u 

1SG.WK slow A0R-manage-PST.3SG.M 

‘I had to drive slowly because of the fog.’ ew 

• /wale ca/ ‘because’ 

(11.111) .p 4 j aj 

za pa manda-0 rayl-am wale 

1SG.STR.DIR INSTR running-F.DIR come.AOR.PST-lSG because 

ca waz : ay warn 

COMP hungry-M.DIR be.CONT.PST.lSG 

‘I came running because I was hungry.’ ( sw) 


11.4.4.6 Subordinate clauses expressing purpose 

Pashto purpose clauses require the use of the complementizer /ca/; the embedded 
verb in the subordinate clause appears in the present aorist form, as shown in 11.112. 



440 


Syntax 


( 11 . 112 ) 


4j>- 0 )lp 


OjU- 


wLo->-1 ^ 




mahmud-0 

Mahmoud-M.DIR 


da ahmad-0 de par-a 
of Ahmad-M.OBL from sake-M.ABL 


darmaltun-0 ta 
pharmacy-M.OBL to 


wlar-0 ca darmal-0 

go.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M COMP medicine-M.DIR 


w-axl-i 

AOR-buy.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 


‘Mahmoud went to the pharmacy to buy medicine for Ahmad.’ (sw 


11.4.4.7 Subordinate clauses of concession 

• j aJ a j** /sara la da ca/‘despite, notwithstanding’ 

(11.113) . aijlS” ejy&j 4 )^?- j ^ai 4 J a 

haya sara la da ca gwas-al 

3SG.STR.DIR with from this.OBL COMP threaten-INF 

saw-ay wa par xpal-a 

become.AOR.PST-PTCP.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.3SG.M on own-F.DIR 

taglara-0 tingar-0 kaw-a 

policy-F.DIR emphasis-M.DIR do.CONT-PST.3SG.M 

‘He persisted in going his own way, despite the warning.’ ew 

• jS\ /agar ca/ ‘although’ 

(11.114) . 4J 4jjl aj 4j>- j£\ 

agar ca za taz-ay yam xo 

although COMP 1SG.STR.DIR thirsty-M.DIR be.CONT.PRS.lSG but 

ob-a nd s-am 0-tsas-al-dy 

water-PL.F.DIR NEG become.AOR.PRS-lSG CONT-drink-PST-OPT 

‘Although I am thirsty, I cannot drink.’ (S w) 

11.5 Periphrastic causatives 

As noted in Section 8.2.7, morphological production of causative predicates is no longer 
productive in Pashto; we present here commonly-encountered forms of periphrastic 



Periphrastic causatives 


441 


causatives. One such construction encountered in Pashto uses the instrumental cir- 
cumposition JjL... aj /pa...bande/, or its simple adpositional variants, with no ad¬ 
ditional verb of causation: see Section 9.7.3. 

A different construction involves the light verb constructions J/majbo- 
rawel/ ‘force’ and Ji /ar istal/ ‘compel’ (see Section 8.2.4.4 and Section 11.2.3.1), 
along with a complement denoting the caused event. The sentences 11.115 and 11.116 
show the construction with J/majborawel/ ‘force’. The caused event may be 
expressed either with an infinitive object of the postposition /ta/ ‘to’ (11.115) or with 
a present aorist clause introduced by <u>- /ca/ ‘that’ (11.116—here found in post-clausal 
position). The actor of the caused event must have animate reference: it is odd to use 
this construction with a true instrument, as shown in the unacceptable 11.117. 

(11.115) . i t_£aj 

za sar : i dd as-0 

1SG.STR.DIR man-M.OBL of horse-M.DIR 

majbor-0 kr-l-am 

forced-M.DIR do.AOR-PST-lSG 

‘The man made me tie up the horse.’ ( swj 

(11.116) . jy- Lfj* aj 

23 sar : i majbor-0 

1SG.STR.DIR man-M.OBL forced-M.DIR 

as-0 wa-tar-am 

horse-M.DIR AOR-tie-lSG 

‘The man made me tie up the horse.’ ( swj 

(11.117) i * 

sar-i ras-ay da as-0 tar-al-o ta 

man-M.OBL rope-F.DIR of horse-M.DIR tie-.INF-PL.M.OBL to 

majbdr-a kr-l-a 

forced-F.DIR do.AOR-PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘The man made the rope tie up the horse.’ (S w) 

The lexical causative /ar istal/ ‘compel’ shows the same two forms of em¬ 

bedded predication as seen in 11.115 and 11.116:11.118 with the infinitive (in this exam¬ 
ple, the infinitive affix has been omitted), and 11.119 with the present aorist subordi¬ 
nate clause. 


kr-l-am ce 

do.AOR-PST-lSG COMP 


tar-al-o ta 

tie-INF-PL.M.OBL to 



442 


Syntax 


(11.118) . Aj aJ y>- A 3 j aA& 

hay a ye pat-a xola-0 kxenast-o ta ar 

3SG.STR.DIR 3.WK hidden-F.DIR mouth-F.DIR sit-PL.M.OBL to forced 

0-ist-0 

CONT-remove.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘They made him sit quietly.’ 


(11.119) & a! j* Aj (_£.i ej jy>- i 

• f/ 

da de xalk-o xabar-o de ta ar 

of this.OBL person-PL.M.OBL word-PL.F.OBL this.OBL to forced 

0-ist-am ce da mawzo-0 la 

CONT-remove.PST-lSG COMP this.DIR topic-F.DIR COMIT... 


gran-o hewawal-o sara sarik-a 

great-PL.M.OBL countryman-PL.M.OBL ...COMIT shared-F.DIR 


kr-am 

do.AOR-lSG 


‘I was forced to share these people's words with my esteemed countrymen.’ 


11.6 Conjunction 

In Pashto, clauses, verbs, and nouns can be conjoined using similar markers. Apposi¬ 
tion is also found, frequently expressing simple coordination but also other relation¬ 
ships, as in the following example of simple apposition expressing a causal relation¬ 
ship: 

(11.120) Aj L>- c Aj 

ahmad-0 nd rack-i xapa 

Ahmad-M.DIR NEG come.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] sad 

day 

be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 


‘Ahmad isn't coming; he is sad.’ (S w) 



Conjunction 


443 


11.6.1 Coordinating conjunctions 

11.6.1.1 jl /aw/‘and’ 

The particle jl /aw/ ‘and’ is used to connect two words, phrases, or clauses that per¬ 
form the same function inside a sentence. 

(11.121) ^ ^ 4 j 

kor-0 fa rayl-om aw dod-dy 

1SG.STR.DIR house-M.OBL to come.AOR.PST-lSG and food-F.DIR 

me wd-xor-a 

1SG.WK A0R-eat.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘I came home and ate [dinner].’ 

(11.122) • > axIa y >-I jl Aj jIa-GS” aj 

za kandahar-0 fa ck-am aw axtar-0 

1SG.STR.DIR Kandahar-M.OBL to go.CONT.PRS-lSG and feast-M.DIR 

halta tar-aw-am 
there pass-do.CONT-lSG 

‘I'll go to Kandahar and spend the feast of Eid there.’ 

Example sentences in Tegey & Robson (1996: 191-194) suggest that when one of 
the conjoined words is a pronoun, the pronoun comes first: 

(11.123) . j yi 

fa aw xeybar-0 der-0 nazde 

2SG.STR.DIR and Khaibar-M.DIR very-PL.M.DIR close 

malgdr-i wast 

friend-PL.M.DIR be.CONT.PST.2PL 

‘You and Khaibar were very good friends.’ 

Two verb phrases with the same subject may be conjoined. Most often the phrases 
are joined by simple apposition; however, the conjunction jl /aw/ ‘and’ may be used: 

(11.124) • ^ ^ ^ 

mahmud-0 bazar-0 fa ck-i aw da 

Mahmoud-M.DIR market-M.OBL to go.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] and of 

yarm-e dod-dy 0-xor-i 

noon-F.OBL food-F.DIR C0NT-eat.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Mahmoud is going to the market and having lunch.’ 



444 


Syntax 


(11.125) . L5 -*^ s " j' -U^l 

ahmad-0 dod : dy 0-xor-i aw ob-d 

Ahmad-M.DIR food-F.DIR C0NT-eat.PRS-PRS.3[SG.M] and water-F.DIR 

0-tsis-i 

C0NT-drink-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘Ahmad eats food and drinks water.’ 


11.6.1.2 L /ya/ ‘or’ 

This conjunction 18 may conjoin items of many classes, including nouns, noun phrases, 
and adjectives: 

(11.126) . aL AjjI AjU 

ma td ob-d yd sdrbat-0 rakr-a 

1SG.STR.0BL to water-F.DIR or juice-M.DIR give.AOR-IMP.SG 

‘Give me water or juice.’ 

(11.127) laJJydj JIT jj j" L Crtr * 

spin-0 yd tor-0 kal-i 

white-PL.M.DIR or black-PL.M.DIR clothing-PL.M.DIR 

w-ayund-a 

AOR-wear.PRS-IMP.SG 
‘Wear a white or black suit!’ 

It may also conjoin two verb phrases. When used to join phrases, L /ya/may com¬ 
bine with the conjunction jl /aw/ to express disjunction. 

(11.128) . >- 4j IaS*" Ij (jl) ^t->- 4a ^ °J 

za ca sahar dd xob-a raksen-dm 

1SG.STR.DIR COMP morning from sleep-M.ABL AOR\arise.PRS-lSG 

sdport-0 td ck-dm (aw) yd kitabxan-e td 

sport-M.OBL to go.CONT.PRS-lSG (and) or library-F.OBL to 

ck-dm 

go.CONT.PRS-lSG 

‘When I wake up in the morning I go to the gym or to the library.’ 


18 Shafeev (1964) additionally cites /ka/ as a disjunction marker. 



Conjunction 


445 


Unlike with jl /aw/ ‘and’, when the two elements conjoined by L /ya/ ‘or’ differ in 
gender, the verb must agree with the last element (examples are from Tegey & Robson 
1996: 194): 

(11.129) . flJuJtS''j *>U L OUI 

aman-0 yd layla-0 wa-gaded-a 
Aman-M.DIR or Layla-F.DIR A0R-dance.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘Aman or Layla danced.’ 


(11.130) .sJuJtS 1 'j OUI L 

layla-0 yd aman-0 wa-gaded-3 

Layla-F.DIR or Aman-M.DIR A0R-dance.PST-PST.3SG.M 


‘Layla or Aman danced.’ 


11.6.1.3 y- /xo/ ‘but’ 

The conjunction y- /xo/ in Pashto functions similarly to its English counterpart but. 
(Tegey & Robson, 1996:196). 

(11.131) ,y y\y~ Jiy y- 45 4j 

za kor-0 td ddrtdl-dm xo moter-0 

1SG.STR.DIR house-M.OBL to come.CONT.PST-lSG but car-M.DIR 

me xarab-0 so-0 

1SG.WK bad-M.DIR become.AOR.PST-PST.3SG.M 
‘I was coming to your home, but my car broke down.’ (S w) 19 

(11.132) . Aj\ y- y xSiji ^ 

da sa hotdl-0 day xo dod-dy ye 

this.DIR good hotel-M.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.M but food-F.DIR 3.WK 

xarab-a da 

bad-F.DIR be.C0NT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘This is a good hotel, but its food is awful.’ m 


19 In 11.131, j— /so/is the Kandahari pronunciation of jJ; /swa/; this is usually spelled with y, 
but may sometimes be spelled with y instead. 



446 


Syntax 


11.6.1.4 L (jl) /(aw) bya/‘then’ 

The adverb L /bya/ may be used to express the sequencing of events. 

(11.133) . 43 43 Jjl «j 

2 a awa! mayaz-e fa wlar-dm bya kor-0 

1SG.STR.DIR first shop-F.OBL to go.AOR.PST-lSG then house-M.OBL 

fa rayl-dm 

to come.AOR.PST-lSG 

‘First I went to the store, then I came home.’ 

The conjunction jl /aw/ ‘and’ optionally accompanies L /bya/ (Tegey & Robson, 
1996): 

(11.134) ^ L jl 4>o iSiji 

dod-dy pax-a kr : a aw bya ye 

food-F.DIR cooked-F.DIR do.AOR-IMP.SG and then 3.WK 

wd-xor-a 

AOR-eat-IMP.SG 

‘Cook and then eat!’ 


11.6.2 Correlative conjunctions 

Elements conjoined in a correlative structure are generally of the same phrasal class. 

• /ham...awham/‘both...and’ 

(11.135) . S' ij,^ j\ ( ‘Sj^r jy jt-® 1 

mahmud-0 ham motdr-0 0-calaw-dy aw ham 

Mahmoud-M.OBL also car-M.DIR CONT-manage-PST.3SG.M and also 

ye xabr-e kaw-dl-i 

3.WK word-PL.F.DIR do.C0NT-PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘Mahmud was driving and also was talking [on the phone].’ 

• 4ixL.. 4j /nayawaze...balka/‘not only...but also’ 



Conjunction 


447 


(11.136) . yb <_£; j ~>- aS3j ^jljJ Aj iy^s>^> 

mahmud-0 na yawaze motar-0 0-calaw-ay 

Mahmoud-M.OBL NEG only car-M.DIR CONT-manage-PST.3SG.M 

balks xabr-e ye ham Icaw-al-i 

but.also word-PL.F.DIR 3.WK also do.CONT-PST-PST.3PL.F 

‘Mahmud was not only driving but was also talking [on the phone].’ 

L... L /ya ... ya/ ‘either...or’ 

(11.137) . ylj L iSiji 

yd ddlta dod-ay wa-xor-a yd 

or here food-FDIR AOR-eat-IMP.SG or 

s-a 

become.AOR.PRS-IMP.SG 
‘Either eat here or go.’ 

4j... 4j /na...na/ ‘neither...nor’ 

(11.138) . j' << 

na dod-ay 0-xor-am 

NEG food-FDIR CONT-eat.PRS-lSG 

0-tss-am 
CONT-drink-lSG 

‘I neither eat nor drink.’ 

Although we have not found this attested elsewhere, a single example in Bilal, Khan, 
Ali & Ahmed (2011: 57) suggests that one instance of the negative particle /na/ 
in the second conjunct of a correlative construction has a possible reading of wide 
scope, negating both clauses. 

y ... /ka...no/ ‘if...then’ 

aS" /ka/ ‘if’ introduces the antecedent clauses of conditionals, and may or may not 
appear in construction with the particle y /no/ ‘then, so’. These two components 
are discussed respectively in Section 11.4.4.2 and Section 11.4.4.4. 

y ~... yb i j>- aS" /ka tse ham ... xo/ ‘even if, although’ 


aw na ob-a 

and NEG water-PL.FDIR 


wlar-0 

gone-M.DIR 



448 


Syntax 


(11.139) . <u>- ^ a^J 4 j jv* 

ka tse ham day 0-xand-i xo pa 

if how.much also 3SG.M.STR.DIR CONT-laugh-PRS.3[SG.M] but in... 

zar-a ki xapa day 

heart-M ...in sad be.CONT.PRS.3SG.M 

‘Although he is laughing, he is sad deep inside.’ (S w) 


11.7 Principles of case-marking and agreement 

In this section we provide some of the principles that underlie case-marking and agree¬ 
ment patterns. In Section 11.7.1, we present a summary of the expressions of split erga- 
tivity. In Section 11.7.4 and Section 11.7.5, we describe briefly a few constructions in 
which the general nominative-accusative or ergative-absolutive agreement patterns 
are not found. 


11.7.1 Tense-based case-marking and split ergativity 

Pashto uses two strategies for case-marking nouns: the nominative-accusative align¬ 
ment familiar from Western European languages is used in the non-past tenses, and 
the ergative-absolutive alignment is used in the past tenses. That is, Pashto is a mor¬ 
phologically split ergative language. In this section we summarize the morphosyntac- 
tic expressions of this property. 

By contrast with many familiar nominative-accusative languages that mark nomi¬ 
native and accusative cases differently on nouns, Pashto instead uses the direct form 
for both. In the past tenses, the two-way distinction between ergative and absolutive 
is realized on nouns in the differential use of oblique vs. direct case suffixes. Table 11.4 
shows this. 

Table 11.5 shows a similar pattern for human interrogative pronouns, as described 
in Section 7.6. 

A somewhat different pattern, also reflecting split ergativity, can be found for the 
personal pronoun systems. Table 11.6 shows how the two-way split is manifested in 
the pattern of case-marking for strong pronouns. 

Essentially the same pattern is found for resumptive pronouns (see Section 11.4.1) 
and for the distribution constraints on weak pronouns, as shown in Table 7.9. 



Principles of case-marking and agreement 


449 



Non-past tenses 
(nominative-accusative 
alignment) 

Past tenses 
(ergative-absolutive 
alignment) 

Transitive subject 


OBLIQUE 

Intransitive subject 

DIRECT 

DIRECT 

Direct object 



Table 11.4: Case-marking pattern for nouns 



Non-past tenses 

Past tenses 

Transitive subject 


OBLIQUE 

Intransitive subject 

DIRECT 

DIRECT 

Direct object 



Table 11.5: Case-marking pattern for human interrogative pronouns 



Non-past tenses 

Past tenses 

Transitive subject 

_ DIRECT _ 

OBLIQUE 

Intransitive subject 


DIRECT 

Direct object 

OBLIQUE 


Table 11.6: Case-marking pattern for strong pronouns 


450 


Syntax 


11.7.2 Agreement of conjoined items 

Section 5.3 and Section 6.7 summarize agreement properties for conjoined elements in 
noun phrases. 

11.7.3 Concordant adverbs 

See Section 10.2.7. 


11.7.4 Case-marking patterns of verbs of sensation or preference 

In the following sections, we discuss two constructions that show case-marking strate¬ 
gies other than those outlined elsewhere, though they can be compared to similar con¬ 
structions in other languages. 

A brief description is given by Tegey & Robson (1996:184) of a set of collocations 
expressing preference or sensation. In these constructions, the experiencer is expressed 
by means of a genitive phrase, i.e. a phrase governed by j /da/ or a possessive pronoun. 
The thing experienced may be expressed as the accusative argument, as among the 
predicates discussed in Section 11.7.4.1, or as the complement to the denominal verb in 
Section 11.7.4.2. 

We present the group in subcategories as determined by case-marking or agree¬ 
ment patterns associated with the construction. 


11.7.4.1 Four denominal verbs of sensation 

Three verbs in this group consist of the verbalizer^/T /keg-/ ‘become’ with a noun; the 
construction resembles a denominal verb construction, except that the experiencer is 
expressed in a genitive phrase (recall that weak pronouns appearing in apposition to 
their heads may express a genitive relation). 

• -.jf ij? /garmi keg-/ ‘feel hot’ 

(11.140) . # jlT 

dd zalm-i garm-i ked-a 

of Zalmay-M.OBL heat-F.DIR become.CONT.PST-PST.3SG.F 

‘Zalmay was feeling hot.’ 

• -.yf /sard keg-/‘feel cold’ 



Principles of case-marking and agreement 


451 


(11.141) ^ 

sar-a de keg-i 

cold-PL.M.DIR 2.WK become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘You feel cold.’ 

A third collocation uses the verb /da/ ‘be’ as an auxiliary. Again, the experi- 
encer is expressed in a genitive phrase; the thing experienced governs agreement. 

• sj o" /taba da/ ‘have a fever’ 

(11.142) ^ v" 

tdba-0 ye da 

fever-F.DIR 3.WK be.CONT.PRS.3SG.F 

‘He has a fever.’ 
o/zra keg-/ ‘feel like’ 

This idiomatic expression consists of the verbalizer plus the word a/zra/ ‘heart’. 
The thing experienced is expressed inside an adpositional phrase governed by 45 /ta/ 
‘to, for’ or, if the thing experienced is expressed through a clause, it will take the usual 
form of a tensed complement (Tegey & Robson, 1996). 

(11.143) . 

tortawdd-0 fa me zr-d keg-i 

pilau-PL.M.DIR to 1SG.WK heart-M.DIR become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 
‘I am craving pilau.’ 


11.7.4.2 Denominal /xwaxeg-/‘like, enjoy’ 

A fifth denominal verb, generally written as one word, derives from the verbalizer 
/keg-/ ‘become’ plus j* /xwax/ ‘sweet, pleasant’. The thing experienced is ex¬ 
pressed as a noun, and the experiencer appears as a genitive phrase. Verb agreement 
is governed by the noun expressing the thing experienced. 

(11.144) iSiji y>\ Uj 

zma amrikai dod-dy xwax-eg-i 

1SG.STR.POSS American food-F.DIR sweet-become.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[SG.F] 


‘I like American food.’ 



452 


Syntax 


11.7.4.3 Three more expressions of preference 

The expression J-\ j Jj /bad radz-/ ‘dislike’ is an idiom, according to Tegey & Robson 
(1996). The verb component always carries third person plural agreement inflection. 
The thing experienced is expressed as the object within the circumpositional phrase 
a; ... a) /la...na/, and the experiencer appears as a phrase governed by the preposition 
i /da/, or, as in 11.146, a strong possessive pronoun. 

(11.145) * Jj aj aJ ^ ^ 

dd mahmud-0 dd kimya-0 Id dars-0 

of Mahmoud-M.OBL of chemistry-F.OBL from... lesson-M.OBL 

na bad rayl-dl 

...from bad come.AOR.PST-PST.3PL.M 

‘Mahmoud didn't like his chemistry class.’ 

(11.146) . ( -t; aj ^jj Uj 

zma tre na bad racb-i 

1SG.STR.POSS up.to.3.up.to bad come.CONT.PRS-PRS.3[PL.M] 

‘I don't like him.’ 

The expressions I Jj /bad yis-/‘dislike’and_^jI a_^ /xa yis-/‘like’are idioms 
made up of Jj /bad/ ‘bad’ or /xa/‘good’plus _^jI /yis-/‘seem’. Unlike the preced¬ 
ing example, Jj /bad/ ‘bad’ and a_^ /xa/ ‘good’ in these expressions show variable 
agreement inflection: both these and the verbal component agree with the noun ex¬ 
pressing the thing experienced. 

(11.147) . ^~*jI dj ^j a^j# ^ 

dd sana-0 mer-3 ye bad 0-yis-i 

of Sana-F.OBL husband-M.DIR 3.WK bad CONT-seem-PRS.3[SG.M] 

‘He doesn't like Sana's husband.’ 

(11.148) . AJj iSjii W" d 

de har-0 ca diw-e xa 0-yis-i 

of every-M.OBL who.OBL Diwe-F.DIR good CONT-seem-PRS.3[SG.F] 

‘Everyone likes Diwe.’ 



Principles of case-marking and agreement — 453 

11.7.5 An unergative or middle voice construction 

A number of authors (Babrakzai 1999; Septfonds 1997; Septfonds 2006; Tegey & Rob¬ 
son 1996) describe a set of verbs (called “anti-impersonals” by Septfonds) which, though 
formally intransitive, nevertheless trigger oblique case marking on their subjects in 
past tenses. The verb itself exhibits PNG marking of third person masculine plural, 
the default agreement value in Pashto. The verbs that exhibit this case-marking pat¬ 
tern comprise a small set of vocalization verbs and a small number of activity verbs: 
J Jul>- /xandal/ ‘to laugh’; J-p /yapal/ ‘to bark’; JjJ /trapal/ ‘to jump’; JjJ /zaral/ 
‘to cry’; J~J /lambal/ ‘to bathe’; /tuxal/‘to cough’. 

Functionally, this construction resembles a middle voice construction. It occurs 
only with past tense verbs, according to Septfonds. Though Septfonds’ research re¬ 
ports on Dzadrani, and we have also found examples of this construction in General 
Pashto, we have not through our own research been able to confirm the existence of 
this case-marking pattern in Waziri. 

Recall that the oblique case form is expressed through the presence of the weak 
pronoun in 11.149 and 11.150. 

(11.149) . j} ^ 

nan me der wa-xand-al 

today 1SG.WK much A0R-laugh-PST.3PL.M 

‘I laughed a lot today.’ 

(11.150) .Jj ^ 

xa der me 0-zar-al-i 

good much 1SG.WK CONT-cry-PST-PTCP.PL.M.DIR 

‘I was crying my eyes out.’ 

(11.151) . Jjjjp jl Jii 

diw-e aw abasin-0 0-xand-al 

Diwe-F.OBL and Abaseen-M.OBL C0NT-laugh-PST.3PL.M 

‘Diwe and Abaseen were laughing.’ 



Michael Maxwell and Anne Boyle David 

A Structure of this Grammar 

A.l Overview 

This book is a descriptive grammar of Pashto. The electronic form of the grammar, 
written in the Extensible Markup Language XML, is supplemented by a formal gram¬ 
mar, also in XML, which encapsulates the morphological and phonological part of the 
descriptive grammar, and which may be used to build a morphological parser. This 
formal grammar is available for download from deGruyter Mouton. 

This appendix describes how the grammar is conceptualized. Included is a brief 
description of the structure of the formal grammar, and the twin processes for con¬ 
verting the XML document into a descriptive grammar (specifically, a PDF) and into a 
morphological parser. 

As an XML document, the grammar is structured into two separate but largely par¬ 
allel grammars: one is a traditional linguistic description in English, in a form that a 
researcher with a minimum of training in descriptive linguistics would understand— 
i.e., this book. The other grammar is a formal grammar of morphology and phonology, 
suitable for automatic extraction and conversion into a form usable by a computer pro¬ 
gram. The XML-based descriptive grammar is converted into a PDF for people, and the 
XML-based formal grammar is converted into a computational form for morphological 
parsers. 

When the grammar is converted into a PDF for on-line viewing or printing, the 
parts containing the formal grammar can be (and have been, in the printed version) 
omitted. The mechanism for producing the PDF (or other output formats) in these two 
forms is sketched in Section A.6. 

The formal grammar may be used in several ways: 

• As a grammar which is easily converted into computational tools, such as morpho¬ 
logical parsers. 

• As a template for writing similar grammars of other languages. 

• As a resource for automated grammar adaptation to related languages. 

These intended uses are described in more detail in Section A.3. 

It is also possible to use the technique called “Literate Programming” (Knuth, 1992) 
to convert both the descriptive and the formal grammars into a single PDF for readers 
who wish to see both. Literate Programming was developed as a way of improving the 
documentation of computer programs by allowing the programmer to embed pieces 
of a computer program into a prose document describing the program, in an order and 
arrangement that would make sense to the human reader, rather than an arrangement 
that might be required by the computer language’s compiler program. 



456 


Structure of this Grammar 


Weaving together the two grammars allows the strengths of each to support the 
weaknesses of the other. In particular, a descriptive grammar written in a natural lan¬ 
guage such as English tends to be ambiguous, whereas the formal grammar should 
be unambiguous. In the form in which both are woven together, where the English de¬ 
scription is (unintentionally) ambiguous, referring to the formal grammar should dis¬ 
ambiguate the intended meaning. Conversely, a weakness of formal grammars (and 
particularly formal grammars that are computer-readable, as is ours) is that they tend 
to be difficult for people to comprehend. Again, our intention is that the meaning of 
the formal grammar will be clarified by the descriptive grammar. The descriptive and 
formal grammar sections on a given topic are written in parallel fashion, making it 
easy to perform such disambiguation or clarification. 


A.2 Audience 

The multi-use grammar is in a format which is expected to be useful to linguists ten 
years or a hundred years from now, whether they wish to understand the structural 
properties of Pashto, or to use the grammar or parser on a new platform or computer 
environment. 

One intended user is a computational linguist. Since the formal grammar is es¬ 
pecially concerned with morphology, and in particular with supporting the creation 
of morphological analysis tools, this application assumes that the computational lin¬ 
guist is knowledgeable about technology for morphological analysis, and conversant 
in basic linguistic terminology for morphology and phonology. For such a user, both 
the descriptive grammar and the formal grammar will be of interest, although the sec¬ 
tions on usage of the descriptive grammar will probably be of less concern. 

In addition, the examples in the paradigm tables and the examples of usage can 
serve as tests of parser implementations, supplementing the use of corpora for parser 
testing. This is particularly important since some paradigm cells are likely to be sparsely 
attested in typical corpora. But since the complete paradigms of exemplar words are 
provided in this descriptive grammar, the parser can be tested on those more rarely 
used parts of the paradigm. 

Of course, people who wish to learn about the grammar—linguists and learners 
of Pashto—form the primary audience of this book. Since these users are largely con¬ 
cerned with understanding how the grammar works, and with the functional meaning 
of constructions, the formal grammar may be of less interest. This is why we have pre¬ 
sented the formal grammar separately. 

Another audience we have tried to keep in mind is the linguist who is charged with 
describing the grammar of another language, particularly of a related language. Such 
a person may wish to adopt the model given here to this other language. Depending on 
the purpose, the descriptive grammar, the formal grammar, or both, may be of interest 
to those users. For the sake of all audiences, we have kept the terminology and the 



More on uses of this grammar 


457 


linguistic analysis itself as basic as possible, avoiding as much as possible theoretical 
constructs which do not correspond directly to observable linguistic phenomena. 


A.3 More on uses of this grammar 

In this section we describe in more detail the potential applications we see for this 
grammar, beginning with computational uses. 

The Extensible Markup Language XML is a computer representation of text in which 
the function of pieces of text is indicated by tags. It provides a mechanism for describ¬ 
ing the structure (as opposed to the display format) of documents. Specifically, the 
descriptive grammar’s source document is structured as a DocBook XML 1 document; 
DocBook is a form of XML that has been developed for book- and article-like docu¬ 
ments, particularly technical documents like this one. The DocBook formalism, and 
the modifications to that formalism that we have used in this project, are described in 
more detail in the documentation supporting the formal grammar. The XML source of 
this grammar is available. 

For some purposes (such as converting the grammar into a form suitable for use 
with computational tools, as described in the next sub-section), the native XML is the 
appropriate format. But for other purposes, such as reading the grammatical descrip¬ 
tion, it is convenient to format the text for viewing by converting the XML tags into 
formatting appropriate to the printed page. This can be done by a variety of means, 
since the DocBook XML format is a widely used format, and many tools are available 
for conversion. We describe in Section A.6 the method we have used to convert it to 
camera-ready copy as PDF. 

In the following section, we describe how the XML document is converted into 
software. 


A.3.1 The grammar as a basis for computational tools 

As we have discussed, because this document is intended as a description of the gram¬ 
mar of Pashto which will be simultaneously unambiguous and understandable, it is 
suitable for implementation as a computational tool, and in particular as a morpho¬ 
logical parser or generator. 2 We describe the method for converting this grammar, and 


1 We use DocBookversion 5, with some extensions described later. 

2 Finite State Transducers (FSTs) combine parsing and generation capabilities. Therefore, if the 
morphological parsing engine being used is an FST (such as the Xerox or Stuttgart Finite State 
Transducer tools), the “parsing” engine serves both as a parser and as a generator. Technically, we 
should therefore use the term “transducer” for the computational program which uses our grammar, 
but we continue to refer to this as a “parsing engine” for reasons of familiarity. 



458 


Structure of this Grammar 


in particular the formal grammar of Pashto morphology and phonology, into a form 
usable by computational tools in Section A.3.1.1. 

The descriptive grammar also describes basics of Pashto syntax. However, there is 
no formal grammar of the syntax, largely because it is difficult to define a formal gram¬ 
mar mechanism for syntax which would be as generic and a-theoretic as the formal 
grammar schema for morphology and phonology. 

In theory, a grammar intended to be used by a computer would not need a de¬ 
scriptive component, written in natural language; a formal grammar, written in some 
unambiguous format, would suffice. In fact, such formal grammars have already been 
written for a variety of natural languages—and in many programming languages. We 
have opted instead to blend our XML formal grammar with a descriptive grammar, us¬ 
ing the technology of Literate Programming (briefly described in Section A.l), thereby 
making this grammar understandable by humans, as well as unambiguous to comput¬ 
ers. Our goal in this is to make it more portable to future computing environments by 
extensively documenting in English each construct of the formal grammar. The result 
should be that a computational linguist who is unfamiliar with our formal grammar 
schema should be able to understand the meaning of the formal grammar itself by 
referring to the descriptive grammar. 


A.3.1.1 Building a parser and generator 

Using this grammar’s source document to produce computational implementation (a 
parser) requires several steps. In the first step, the formal grammar is extracted from 
the grammatical description as a whole (including the descriptive grammar). This oper¬ 
ation has been programmed as a simple XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Trans¬ 
formation), which operates on the complete XML grammar to extract the formal gram¬ 
mar in its XML format. 3 

Second, this extracted XML grammar is translated into the programming language 
of the chosen morphological parsing engine. This conversion could be done by any pro¬ 
gram which can parse XML and convert the result into other formats. We have imple¬ 
mented our converter in the Python programming language. We chose Python because 
it allows the use of an object-oriented programming approach, in which each linguistic 
structure expressed as an element in the XML grammar corresponds to a class. For ex¬ 
ample, there are elements in the XML grammar corresponding to classes in the Python 
converter for linguistic objects such as affixes, phonological rules, and allomorphs. This 
part of the converter program is analogous to the front end of a programming language 
compiler: it ensures that the formal grammar is syntactically correct, and if so gener¬ 
ates an intermediate representation in terms of Python objects. 


3 An example of a piece of this formal grammar structure in XML form is given in Section A.3.2. 



More on uses of this grammar 


459 


The other half of the converter is specific to the particular morphological parsing 
engine being targeted, and it rewrites the grammar into that programming language. 
This half is thus analogous to the back end of a programming language compiler: it 
translates from the intermediate representation of the grammar as Python objects, into 
the target programming language. 4 

Our converter currently targets the Stuttgart Finite State Transducer tools. 5 Target¬ 
ing a different parsing engine would require rewriting this half of the converter for the 
new parsing engine. The converter program is generic in terms of the language being 
described: that is, the same converter will work for a grammar of any language for 
which an XML grammar conforming to the schemas has been written. 6 

The final step of the conversion process is to use the parsing engine to compile the 
converted grammar together with an electronic dictionary of the language. 7 

In summary, the XML-based grammars serve as a stable way to define the morpho¬ 
logical analysis of natural languages, so that the grammars can be used by different 
parsing engines. The converter can be used for any language for which the morphology 
has been described using the formal grammar. When a new and better parsing engine 
is developed, and the grammar needs to be ported to that new parsing engine, only 
part of the converter needs to be changed; the grammatical description can be re-used 
without change. 


4 Modern programming language compilers often include a “middle end,” where optimization is 
done. This is not directly relevant to our converter, since any optimization is highly dependent on the 
target programming language. In fact, the back end of our converter currently does do some 
optimization for the Stuttgart Finite State Transducer (SFST). In particular, SFST’s own compilation 
phase becomes very slow and memory-intensive under certain circumstances. In order to avoid this, 
our converter breaks large compilation steps into shorter ones. This affects only SFST’s compilation; 
the final morphological transducer would be virtually the same regardless of this optimization. 

5 The Stuttgart Finite State Transducer is an open source program, available from 
http://www.ims.uni-stuttgart.de/projekte/gramotron/SOFTWARE/SFST.html; it supports the kinds of 
constructions needed for most languages. 

6 While the converter accounts for the morphological constructions needed for Pashto, there are 
some linguistic constructs in other languages, such as infixes and reduplication, which are allowed 
in the formal grammar schema but are not yet handled by the converter. 

7 Normally, an electronic dictionary is a required resource. Fortunately, dictionaries are almost 
always more easily obtained than grammars, at least grammars of the sort required for 
morphological parsing. Electronic dictionaries will, however, require effort to convert them into the 
form required by the parsing engine. For some languages, this work will be simply extracting words 
belonging to the various parts of speech into separate files; for other languages, including Pashto, 
more information is required, including declension classes (for nouns and adjectives) and stem class 
allomorphy. The details of how this information needs to be represented will vary, depending on the 
particular parsing engine. 



460 


Structure of this Grammar 


A.3.2 The grammar as a description 

This grammar may of course be read as simply a linguistic description of the Pashto 
language. By linguistic description we mean a description that uses such traditional 
linguistic constructs as allomorph and morphosyntactic features. 

The formal grammar also constitutes a description, and in fact one which may 
help disambiguate the descriptive grammar. In its current format as an XML docu¬ 
ment, however, it is difficult for people to read. It is possible, in order to make the 
formal grammar more accessible to linguists (particularly to linguists who are not fa¬ 
miliar with the XML notation), to add to our XML-to-PDF conversion process the capa¬ 
bility of converting the XML formal grammar notation into a notation more similar to a 
traditional linguistic description. For example, the XML representation of inflectional 
affixation in agglutinating languages uses a structure which (in somewhat simplified 
form) looks like the following (this example is based on Turkish): 

<Ln:PartOfSpeech name="noun"> 

<Ln : affixSlots> 

<Ln : I nflAffixSIot id="slotNumber'> 


<Ln 

Inflecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

'afSingular"/> 

<Ln 

1 nfl ecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

'afPlural"/> 

</Ln: 

nfl Affix 

Slot 

> 



<Ln : 1 nflAffixS 

lot 

id="s 

otCase 1 

> 

<Ln 

Inflecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

'afNominative"/> 

<Ln 

Inflecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

'afGenitive"/> 

<Ln 

Inflecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

'afDative"/> 

<Ln 

Inflecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

'afAccusative"/> 

<Ln 

Inflecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

' af Ab 1 a ti ve "/> 

<Ln 

Inflecti 

o n a 

1 Affix 

id ref = 

'afLocative"/> 

</Ln: 

nfl Affix 

Slot 

> 




</Ln : affixSIots > 

<Ln:affixTemplates> 

<Ln: lnflAffixTemplate> 

<Ln : refSuffixSIots > 

<Ln: SuffixSIot name="Number" id ref = "slotNumber"/> 

<Ln: SuffixSIot name="Case" idref = "slotCase"/> 

</Ln: refSuffixSIots > 

</Ln: lnflAffixTemplate> 

</Ln :affixTemplates> 

</Ln: PartOfSpeech> 

For a linguist, a more useful (and more readable) display of this XML structure 
might be the following table, in which the slots have been treated as columns in a 
table of affixes, and the individual affixes are displayed as a pairing of a gloss and a 






Spell correction 


461 


form, rather than a reference to the definition of the affix elsewhere (the “idref ” in the 
above XML code): 


Stem 


Number suffix slot Case suffix slot 


-0 “-Singular” 


-0 “-Nominative” 


-in “-Genitive” 


(Noun) 


-ler “-Plural” 


-e “-Dative” 

-i “ Accusative” 
-den “-Ablative” 
-de “-Locative” 


We emphasize that this is a matter of how the XML structure is displayed, not 
a change in the underlying XML. This particular step (the conversion process from 
our XML-based grammar to a display in the form of tables or other forms familiar 
to linguists) is not implemented yet. However, the use of an XML formalism for both 
the descriptive and formal grammars means that when the display mechanism is pro¬ 
grammed, we will be able to produce versions of this grammar as PDFs and other for¬ 
mats which incorporate the new display, without changing the underlying XML docu¬ 
ments. 

A.4 Spell correction 

A morphological parser constitutes a spell checker. That is, in the absence of special 
rules allowing for spelling variation, a parser requires that words be spelled in a par¬ 
ticular way in order to be parsed. Failure of a word to parse can therefore be construed 
to mean that the word is misspelled (although in fact, many parse failures can be at¬ 
tributed to other errors, such as a missing lexeme in the dictionary). 

However, it is frequently the case—particularly in less documented languages— 
that spelling conventions are not as fixed as they are for languages like English. This 
can be a problem. In particular, there is considerable variation in the spelling of Pashto, 
as we have noted in Chapter 1. However, Pashto’s extensive orthographic variation is 
not well documented in the literature. This could obviously be important in the appli¬ 
cation of computer processing to printed texts, because while a morphological parser 
acts as a spell checker, it does not by itself constitute a spell corrector. That is, when 
a word fails to parse, the parser cannot suggest a corrected spelling. However, it is 
possible to build a spell corrector on top of a morphological parser. 



462 


Structure of this Grammar 


Spelling variation may in fact result from several different causes. In the absence 
of spelling standardization, some, but not all, variations can be termed errors; but re¬ 
gardless, all variation can cause problems for morphological parsing. Spell correction 
is therefore an important technology that can complement morphological parsing. We 
do not treat spelling variation in the formal grammar. However, the finite state tech¬ 
nology currently used for morphological parsing can also be used to encode spelling 
variation rules. 8 


A.5 Grammar adaptation 

There are hundreds of languages for which one might want to build morphological 
parsers. 9 All of these, we believe, can benefit from grammar writing using the multi¬ 
use framework we have developed. There are two major ways that our work could be 
leveraged so as to make grammars of a large number of languages, and tools built on 
those grammars, available: by having it serve as a model or template for other grammar 
writers; and by automatically or semi-automatically adapting the formal grammar of 
one language to another language. The two sub-sections below discuss each of these 
approaches in turn. 


A.5.1 Manual grammar building 

The traditional way to produce morphological parsers is to rely on highly trained lin¬ 
guists and computational linguists to learn the programming language for some mor¬ 
phological parsing engine (or to write one’s own parsing engine), learn the grammar 
and perhaps the writing system of the target language, and then use the former knowl¬ 
edge to encode the latter knowledge. An obvious impediment to this approach is that 
it is difficult to find one person who combines all these skills. Another difficulty, dis¬ 
cussed above, is that parsing engines tend to be replaced with newer and better en¬ 
gines after a few years, rendering the parser that was built with so much expert effort 
obsolete. 

The multi-use grammar method which we have developed provides a way to avoid 
the first problem: to the extent that the descriptive and formal grammars are separable, 
they can be written by people who bring either of two skill sets: one, knowledge of the 


8 Ideally, such rules are given “weights” which encode the likelihood that a given spelling variation 
will be found. Some finite state tools allow the use of such weights. 

9 There are in the neighborhood of 7000 languages in the world today (http://ethnologue.org is the 
standard reference on languages of the world). Of these, perhaps 1500 to 2000 are written 
languages, and probably the majority of these have non-trivial inflectional morphologies. Over 300 
languages have at least a million speakers. 



Grammar adaptation 


463 


grammar (and writing system) of the target language; the other, experience in com¬ 
puter programming. It is, we believe, easier to find two different people (or perhaps 
two teams of people), one with each of these skill sets, than it is to find one person 
with both skills. We have in fact employed this division of labor in writing our gram¬ 
mars, and it has become clear that this approach to grammar writing makes it easier 
to build teams that can construct grammars and morphological parsers. 

The two grammars must still be written collaboratively, which calls for a close 
working relationship between the descriptive grammar writer and the formal gram¬ 
mar writer. While the authors of this pair of descriptive and formal grammars have 
worked in nearby offices, we believe that this working relationship can probably be 
more remote; e.g., it might be mediated by email or other collaborative technologies, 
allowing a descriptive grammar writing team from the linguistics department located 
in the country where a language is spoken, together with a formal grammar writing 
team from a computer science department, perhaps in a different country. 

It may be possible to further reduce the expertise needed to write grammars, if new 
grammars can be modeled after existing grammars. To some extent, this Pashto gram¬ 
mar re-uses the model of earlier grammars we have written using this same framework, 
although we have introduced some new techniques with each new language. 

Using grammars as models might work best if the new grammars were for lan¬ 
guages related to the ones already described, since the typology of the languages would 
be similar. But the use of model grammars may prove useful for unrelated languages 
as well. 

We have also developed grammar testing tools based on the information in the de¬ 
scriptive grammar. In particular, these tools use the example sentences and paradigm 
tables of the descriptive grammar as a source of parser test cases. Such testing of course 
needs to be supplemented by testing against corpora, which may reveal morphological 
constructions not previously described. 


A.5.2 Automated grammar adaptation 

Rather than writing grammars by hand, another approach to grammar adaptation 
would be to create a computer program that could automatically adapt an existing for¬ 
mal grammar to work for another language, related to the initial target language. (A 
computer could not be expected to adapt a descriptive grammar, since that would re¬ 
quire understanding of an English grammatical description, something which is well 
beyond the current state of the art.) This task might be done with various sorts of re¬ 
sources in the third language: corpora, bilingual corpora in the third language and 
English, bilingual corpora in the third language and the initial target language, dictio¬ 
naries of the third language, etc. In particular, the Bible is available in nearly every 
written language and therefore constitutes a parallel corpus (Resnik, Olsen & Diab, 
1999). While the vocabulary of the Bible is not always useful in a modern context, there 



464 


Structure of this Grammar 


is no reason good Bible translations in two related languages could not serve as the ba¬ 
sis for converting the formal grammar of the morphology of one language into a formal 
grammar of the other language’s morphology. 

Some work on automatic grammar adaptation has been described in Yarowsky 
(2002) and Feldman & Hana (2010). 


A.6 Formatting the grammar for viewing 

This section describes the method we have used to convert this grammar into a format 
readable by people. 

The primary method for formatting XML DocBook documents is through the use 
of XSL-FO (XSL Formatting Objects, see Stayton 2005). While this method would work 
(provided it was supplemented with the XSL transformations needed for our literate 
programming and interlinear text extensions), we were not satisfied that any of the 
available XSL-FO processors would do a good job of typesetting the Arabic script re¬ 
quired for Pashto and other languages. 

Fortunately, there is an alternative typesetting method in the form of XeTeX, a 
Unicode-aware version of TeX and LaTeX, and developed by Jonathan Kew. (XeTeX 
is released under a free license; the latest distribution is currently included in the 
TeX Live distributions; see http://tug.org/texlive/.) Perhaps in part because Kew had 
worked with Arabic scripts, the result is, we believe, quite pleasing. 

It remained to find a way to convert our DocBook XML files into XeTeX. Fortunately, 
we found the dblatex program, which was designed to convert DocBook into LaTeX 
(and now into XeLaTeX). The author, Benoit Guillon, has been very helpful in modify¬ 
ing it to work well with XeTeX. Again, this is an open source program, available from 
Sourceforge (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dblatex/). We have tweaked it slightly to 
allow for the conversion of the literate programming constructs and interlinear text; 
the latter was made easier by the existence of Michael Covington’s LaTeX macros for 
interlinear text. Again, these are freely licensed, and available in the same Tex Live 
distribution as XeTeX. 

One might ask why we did not write the grammar in LaTeX directly (or XeTeX). The 
main reason for this is that XML is a content markup system, while LaTeX is a presen¬ 
tation markup system. In part because of this, XML is now recognized as a standard 
for long term preservation of documents, particularly linguistic documents (see e.g. 
Borghoff, Rodig, Scheffczyk & Schmitz 2006 and Bird & Simons 2003). Content markup 
means that not only is the markup easily extensible, but by means of the judicious use 
of tags, we can extract elements for various purposes. For example, as mentioned in 
Section A.5.1, we can automatically extract all the words in both interlinear examples 
and example words in text, and use them to test a parser. 

In outline, the steps we have used to format this grammar are the following: 



Formatting the grammar for viewing 


465 


1. Combine the various files of the descriptive and formal grammars into a single 
file, using the xsltproc program and the XSL weave stylesheet. 

2. Run dblatex to convert this file into a XeLaTeX file. Any non-DocBook standard 
elements, such as interlinear text and inline examples, must be provided with 
special code to convert them into the format expected by XeLaTeX. 

3. For all sequences of characters which require a special font (e.g. characters in 
the Arabic block of Unicode), we wrap the sequences in a special tag, telling 
XeLaTeX to use the appropriate font for these characters. Special care needs to 
be taken at this point with punctuation marks, which can interact badly with 
right-to-left scripts. 

4. Run XgTjrX (in its ETgX form, XeLaTeX) to produce a PDF. 



B Sources of Pashto Data 

B.l Sources of interlinear examples taken from the web 

Chapter 1: About this Grammar 

1. 1.1 http://www.miliehsas.com/ 

Chapter 6: Adjectives and Other Noun Modifiers 

1. 6.19 http://www.benawa.com 

2. 6.20 http://eqtisad.bloguna.tolafghan.com 

3. 6.25 http://www.afghanjirga.net/ 

4. 6.26 http://www.benawa.com 

5. 6.27 http://www.aryen.bloguna.tolafghan.com 

6. 6.28 http://www.shamshadtv.tv 

7. 6.36 http://www.sada-e-azadi.net 

8. 6.37 http://www.aminzay.com 
Chapter 7: Pronouns 

1. 7.55 http://www.facebook.com/PashtoJokes/ 

Chapter 8: Verbs 

1. 8.13 http://www.pajhwok.com/ 

2. 8.14 http://www.sporghay.com/ 

3. 8.15 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw08YbmNFLo/ 

4. 8.16 http://ps.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 

5. 8.20 http://eslahonline.net/ 

6. 8.21 http://www.tolafghan.com/ 

7. 8.22 http://larawbar.com/ 

8. 8.25 http://www.facebook.com/ 


9. 8.26 http://sangaar.com/ 



468 — Sources of Pashto Data 

10. 8.30 http://khabarial.com/ 

11. 8.31 http://ps.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 

12. 8.32 http://www.pajhwok.com/en/photo/96113 

13. 8.33 http://www.bloguna.com/ 

14. 8.34 http://www.bosa.blogsky.com/ 

15. 8.37 http://www.facebook.com/video/video/php?v= 180813528650225/ 

16. 8.38 http://awakening.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

17. 8.40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxcFrUwlybQ/ 

18. 8.41 http://bloguna.com/Zhwand/ 

19. 8.46 http:/kandahartv-gov.com/ 

20. 8.49 http://www.mirmanbaheer.org/ 

21. 8.50 http://www.mirmanbaheer.org/ 

22. 8.51 http://iwpr.net/ps/ 

23. 8.55 http://www.bakhtarnews.com.af/ 

24. 8.56 http://www.baheer.com/ 

25. 8.57 http://www.khyberwatch.com/ 

26. 8.58 http://www.afghan-german.net/ 

27. 8.63 http://dailyshahadat.com/ 

28. 8.64 http://www.tolafghan.com/ 

29. 8.65 http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=xjHsO-6bOo/ 

30. 8.66 http://www.s-rohi.com/ 

31. 8.67 http://eslahonline.net/ 

32. 8.68 http://www/;arawbar.org/ 

33. 8.73 http://www.rohi.af/ 

34. 8.74 http://www.facebook.com/israrahmadzai/posts/246413462138948/ 



Sources of interlinear examples taken from the web 


469 


35. 8.75 http://taand.com/ 

36. 8.76 http://www.dawatfreemedia.org/ 

37. 8.79 http://www.jahanionline.com/ 

38. 8.80 http://www.ahena.blogfa.com/ 

39. 8.81 http://www.pashtunforums.com/ 

40. 8.82 http://bloguna.com/ 

41. 8.83 http://www.facebook.com/PashtunUnity/posts/318701911484713/ 

42. 8.84 http://khaibarial.com/ 

43. 8.85 http://ghazal.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

44. 8.86 http://yahyaghafoorzai.blogfa.com/ 

45. 8.87 http://www.benawa.com/ 

46. 8.88 http://www.scprd.com/ 

47. 8.89 http://taand.com/ 

48. 8.90 http://pushtu.cri.cn/ 

49. 8.91 http://www.benawa.com/ 

50. 8.92 http://www.afghanjirga.com/ 

51. 8.93 http://pashtu.irib.ir/ 

52. 8.95 http://sporghay.com/ 

53. 8.96 http://www.baheer.com/ 

54. 8.97 http://www.s-rohi.com/ 

55. 8.98 http://www.h-obaidi.com/ 

56. 8.99 http://www.voanews.com/pashto/ 

57. 8.100 http://afghan-warlods.blogspot.com/ 

58. 8.101 http://didanona.com/ 

59. 8.102 http://scprd.com/ 



470 — Sources of Pashto Data 

60. 8.103 http://waak.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

61. 8.104 http://ghorzang.net/ 

62. 8.105 http://taand.com/ 

63. 8.106 http://www.meenapukhto.blogfa.com/ 

64. 8.107 http://pushtu.cri.cn/ 

65. 8.108 http://baheer.com/ 

66. 8.109 http://khabarial.com/ 

67. 8.110 http://nunn.asia/ 

68. 8.111 http://quizlet.com/ 

69. 8.113 http://www.pashtoonkhwa.com/ 

70. 8.114 http://iwpr.net/ 

71. 8.115 http://wolas-ghag.com/ 

72. 8.116 http://islam-iea.com/ 

73. 8.117 http://eslahonline.net/ 

74. 8.118 http://nunn.asia/ 

75. 8.120 http://afghanfoundation.net/ 

76. 8.121 http://www.destaar.com/ 

77. 8.122 http://www.bbc.co.Uk/pashto/world// 

78. 8.123 http://afghanjirga.net/ 

79. 8.124 http://www.voanews.com/pashto/ 

80. 8.125 http://www.esalat.org/ 

81. 8.126 http://aryen.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

82. 8.127 http://rohi.af/ 

83. 8.129 http://iwpr.net/ 

84. 8.130 http://taleemulislam-radio.com/ 



Sources of interlinear examples taken from the web 


471 


85. 8.131 http://www.acsf.af/ 

Chapter 9: Adpositions 

1. 9.11 http://afg-liberal-party.blogfa.com/ 

2. 9.13 http://pushtu.cri.cn/ 

3. 9.14 http://www.baheer.com 

4. 9.15 http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

5. 9.24 http://lashkargah.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

6. 9.26 http://sporghay.com/ 

7. 9.32 http://www.voanews.com/ 

8. 9.33 http://www.facebook.com/lsraratal/posts/193484757403886/ 

9. 9.36 http://www.voanews.com/ 

10. 9.41 

http://www.fbjs.facebook.com/afghanistancricketboard/posts/245676592129372/ 

11. 9.45 http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

12. 9.46 http://larawbar.com/ 

13. 9.47 http://www.mashriqsoft.net/ 

14. 9.67 http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

15. 9.92 http://lokrana.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

16. 9.94 http://da.azadiradio.org/ 

17. 9.96 source: from a 12/22/2010 Azadi Radio Broadcast. 

18. 9.97 http://www.wakht.com/ 

19. 9.98 http://www.benawa.com/ 

20. 9.121 http://www.sada-e-azadi.net/ 

Chapter 10: Other word classes 

1. 10.3 http://www.facebook.com/ 

2. 10.4 http://www.voanews.com/ 



472 


Sources of Pashto Data 


3. 10.7 http://www.benawa.com/ 

4. 10.8 http://www.benawa.com/ 

5. 10.9 http://www.gma.com.af/ 

6. 10.10 http://www.sada-e-azadi.net/ 

7. 10.11 http://www.gotquestions.org/ 

8. 10.12 http://khyberwatch.com/ 

9. 10.18 http://www.khabarial.com/ 

10. 10.19 http://bowraa.com/ 

11. 10.20 http://s-rohi.com/ 

12. 10.21 http://www.afghanijokes.com/ 

13. 10.28 http://www.talafghan.com/ 

14. 10.42 http://sola.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

15. 10.67 http://www.voanews.com/ 

16. 10.68 http://lifeinafghanistan.wordpress.com/ 

17. 10.69 http://wepakhtoons.blogspot.com/ 

18. 10.70 http://www.voanews.com/ 

19. 10.71 http://larawbar.com/ 

Chapter 11: Syntax 

1. 11.3 http://www.pajhwok.com/ 

2. 11.19 http://khedmatgar.com/ 

3. 11.20 http://www.kitabtoon.com/ 

4. 11.21 http://thanda.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

5. 11.22 http://ps.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 

6. 11.23 http://www.sada-e-azadi.net/ 

7. 11.24 http://www.khost-web.net/ 



Sources of interlinear examples taken from the web 


473 


8. 11.25 http://www.benawa.com/ 

9. 11.26 http://peshgaman.blogfars.com/ 

10. 11.27 http://iwpr.net/ 

11. 11.29 http://www.tatobay.com/ 

12. 11.31 http://www.loyafghanistan.af/ 

13. 11.32 http://origin-pa.azadiradio.org/ 

14. 11.34 http://loyafghanistan.af/ 

15. 11.37 www.tolafghan.com/ 

16. 11.42 http://www.pashtozeray.org/ 

17. 11.43 http://www.dailyshahadat.com/ 

18. 11.44 http://www.pajhwok.com/ 

19. 11.45 http://www.tolafghan.com/ 

20. 11.46 http://eslahonline.net/ 

21. 11.47 http://www.tolafghan.com/ 

22. 11.65 http://lawaghar.com/ 

23. 11.67 http://www.tolafghan.com/ 

24. 11.68 http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

25. 11.77 http://www.khabarial.com/ 

26. 11.81 http://www.surgar.net/ 

27. 11.84 http://www.voanews.com/ 

28. 11.85 http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

29. 11.90 http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

30. 11.91 http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

31. 11.93 http://www.afghanijokes.com/ 

32. 11.106 http://www.bbc.co.uk/ 



474 — Sources of Pashto Data 

B.2 List of web pages mined for language data 

1. http://afg-liberal-party.blogfa.com/ 

2. http://www.afghanijokes.com/ 

3. http://www.afghanjirga.net/ 

4. http://www.afghanistanonlineforums.com/ 

5. http://www.afghanistantoday.org/ 

6. http://www.afghanistanvotes.com/ 

7. http://www.aminzay.com/ 

8. http://da.azadiradio.org/ 

9. http://origin-pa.azadiradio.org/ 

10. http://pa.azadiradio.org/ 

11. http://www.baheer.com/ 

12. http://bakhtarnews.com.af/ 

13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ 

14. http://www.benawa.com/ 

15. http://nojavan.blogfars.com/ 

16. http://peshgaman.blogfars.com/ 

17. http://wepakhtoons.blogspot.com/ 

18. http://lokrana.bloguna.tolafghan.com/ 

19. http://www.bloguna.com/ 

20. http://www.dailyshahadat.com/ 

21. http://eslahonline.net/ 

22. http://www.facebook.com/ 

23. http://www.ghatreh.com/ 

24. http://ghorzang.net/ 



List of web pages mined for language data 


475 


25. http://www.gma.com.af/ 

26. http://www.gotquestions.org/ 

27. http://graanafghanistan.com/ 

28. http://iwpr.net/ 

29. http://www.kabirstori.com/ 

30. http://khatez.net/ 

31. http://www.khost-web.net/ 

32. http://khyberwatch.com/ 

33. http://kw.af/ 

34. http://larawbar.com/ 

35. http://lawaghar.com/ 

36. http://www.loyafghanistan.af/ 

37. http://www.mohe.gov.af/ 

38. http://www.ntm-a.com/ 

39. http://www.pajhwok.com/ 

40. http://www.pashtozeray.org/ 

41. http://pashtu.irib.ir/ 

42. http://www.qamosona.com/ 

43. http://rohella-pashto-forum.com/ 

44. http://rohi.af/ 

45. http://www.sada-e-azadi.net/ 

46. http://www.spenghar.com/ 

47. http://sporghay.com/ 

48. http://www.surgar.net/ 

49. http://www.tatobay.com/ 



476 


Sources of Pashto Data 


50. http://cricket.tolafghan.com/ 

51. http://www.tolafghan.com/ 

52. http://tolo.tv/ 

53. http://tolonews.com/ 

54. http://www.voanews.com/ 

55. http://www.wakht.com/ 

56. http://article.wn.com/ 

57. http://www.wranga.com/ 

58. http://lifeinafghanistan.wordpress.com/ 

59. http://www.zarlakht.net/ 

60. http://zwand.com/ 



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Index 


Abbreviations 4 
Adjectives 103 

- as adverbs 391 

- as complements of denominal verbs 

201 

- as nouns 155 

- animacy of 155 

- inflection of 79 

- attributive vs. predicative 154 

- Class 1104 

- animate 109 

- derivational suffixes 150 

- dialect variation 104 

- ending in /-gar/105 

- ending in /-jan/105 

- ending in /-man/105 

- ending in /-war/105 

- forms with stem allomorphy 104,105 

- formswithoutstem allomorphy 107 

- in Middle dialects 121 

- regularization toward 104,119 

- Class II109 

- diphthongization 113 

- forms with stem allomorphy 110, 111 

- forms without stem allomorphy 115 

- in Middle dialects 122 

- Class III 116 

- Class Ilia derivational suffixes 152 

- Ilia 116 

- lllb 118, 246, 247 

- in Middle dialects 122 

- Class IV 119 

- derivational suffixes 152 

- loanwords 119 

- comparative 156 

- with /la...na/ 349 

- with /tar/ 323 

- compound 153 


- derivation of 150 

- by compounding 153 

- Class I suffixes 150 

- Class Ilia suffixes 152 

- Class IV suffixes 152 

- from loanwords 152 

- from participles 116 

- from verbs 118 

- in conjunctive constructions 97 

- inflection 45,103 

- comparable to noun inflection 103 

- inflectional classes see Adjectives; 
Class I, etc. 

- interrogative 147 

- count and non-count 148 

- negative 

- derived with /be-/152 

- derived with /na-/153 

- number names see Number names 

- participles as 

- past 247 

- present 246, 303 

- predicative 154 

- reduplication of 153 

- superlative 156 

- see also Adjectives; comparative 

- usage 154 

- verbs derived from 200, 202 
Adpositions 305 

- /be/ 317 

- /be (na)/ 317 

- /be la...na/ 351 

- /bondi/ 329 

- /bande/328 

- /de/314 

- /de ... kra/ 337 

- see also Location; constructions with 
/kara/ 



Index 


485 


- possessive use 313 

- see also Adpositions; /da/ 

/da/ 312 

- /da da...para/, /da...la para/ 337 

- /da...lande/ 334 

- /da...la amala/ 341 

- /da...la lure/ 345 

- /da...la pasa/ 314 

- /da...la xwa/ 343 

- /da...na/ 156,334 

- /da...pore/ 335 

- /da...pa babi/ 339 

- /da...pa bara ke/ 339 

- /da...pa lor/ 343 

- /da...pa max ke/ 340 

- /da...pa sari/ 342 

- /da...pa ebay/ 339 

- /da...pa tser/ 343 

- /da...sara/ 335 

- /da...tsaxa/ 335 

- /da...tsaxa/156 

- alternation with /la/ 316 

- expressing possession 163 

- fusion with pronouns 313, 363 

- in complex adpositions 313 

- in possessive interrogatives 178 

- in postpositional phrases 334 

- variant /la/ see Adpositions; /la/ 

- with ablative case 309 

- word order of /da/ clauses 424 
/e/ 314 

- /e...sara/ 336 

- see also Adpositions; /da/ 

/kxe/329 

/la/, /lara/ 

- as variants of /ta/ 326 
/leka/ 324 

- modal constructions with /ce/ 325 
/londi/ 329 

/la...na/ 348 

- assigns oblique case 48 

- complex circumpositions with 350 


- in comparatives 349 

- in superlatives 349 

- /la/ 316, 346 

- /la...lande/ 347 

- /la...na bahar/ 350 

- /la...na paxwa/ 350 

- /la...na/156, see Adpositions;/la...na/ 

- /la...sara/ 346 

- /la...tsaxa/ 347 

- alternation with /da/ 316 

- assigns ablative case 48 

- in expressions of preference 452 

- /na/329 

- vs. ablative case-marking 363 

- /prata la...na/ 351 

- /pre/ see Adpositions; /pa/; variant 

/pre/ 

- /pse/329 

- /pa/ 

- /pa...bande/ 355, 441 

- /pa...ke/ 354 

- /pa...nde/ 356 

- /pa...pase/ 354 

- assigns ablative case 48 

- causative with animate objects 320, 
356,363 

- in aspectual constructions 322 

- in circumpositions 353 

- in manner phrases 320 

- instrumental use 319 

- locational use 318 

- manner adverbs 382 

- temporal use 320 

- variant /pre/ 360 

- variant /par/ 317 

- /sara/ 327 

- reciprocal constructions with 385 

- /ta/ 326 

- elided in /kara/ 361 

- /tre/ see Adpositions; /tra/; variant/tre/ 

- /tar/ 323 

- /tar...londe/ 357 



486 


Index 


- /tar...lande/ 358 

- /tar...pere/ 357 

- /tar...pore/ 357 

- assigns ablative case 48 

- in circumpositions 357 

- in comparatives 156, 323 

- in Middle dialects 324 

- variant /tre/ 360 

- /wrusta/ 

- /wrusta la...(na)/ 351 

- /wa/ 359 

- /wrande/328 

- /ye/ 314 

- /ye...na/ 337 

- in complex phrases 315 

- see also Adpositions; /da/ 

- /zidi/ 327 

- as negator 153 

- /yunde/328 

- adpositional phrases 

- overview of syntax 424 

- structure of 400 

- word order 424 

- ambipositions 305 

- and case assignment 306 

- as adverbs 306 

- circumpositions 305, 329 

- complex 337 

- complex circumpositional construc¬ 
tions with /da/ 313 

- in Middle dialects 332 

- incomplete 326 

- oblique pronominal clitics not gov¬ 
erned by 365 

- omission of preposition 348 

- table of circumpositional elements 
330 

- table of Middle vs. Standard forms 
333 

- with /da/ 334 

- with /la/ 346 

- with /pa/ 353 


- complex 305 

- with /da/ 313 

- in comparatives and superlatives 156 

- objects of 

- in ablative case 48, 308 

- in direct case 309 

- in oblique case 48, 307 

- mixed case-marking inside 311 

- omission of pronoun objects 364 

- postpositions 305, 325 

- postpositional phrases 334 

- with oblique pronominalclitics 365 

- prepositions 305, 312 

- omitted from circumpositions 348 

- usage 362 

- vs. /kara/ 361 

- weak pronouns not allowed as objects 

of 167 
Adverbs 

- adjectives as 391 

- adpositions as 306 

- agreement of 391 

- Arabic loanwords 387 

- interrogatives as 388 

- of degree 386 

- of manner 382 

- of place 380 

- of time 378 

- reduplication of 392 

- with /ca/ 438 
Affixes 209 

- /-(a)war/ 

- derived Class 1 adjective 151 

- /-(w)o/ 

- Class IV oblique plural adjective (vari¬ 
ant) 119 

- /-(y)un/ 

- Class I masculine directsingularan- 
imate noun (M) 61 

-/-a/,/-a/ 

- feminine Class I derived noun 71 

- feminine Class I noun 67 



Index 


487 


/-an/ 

- Arabic adverbs 387 
/-aw-/ 

- causative verb 227 
/-ay/ 

- masculine Class III direct singular 
adjective 116,122 

- masculine Class III direct singular 
noun 80 

/-ba/ 

- derived nouns: master, keeper 73 

l-el 

- Class II oblique plural adjective (M) 
122 

- masculine Class III vocative singu¬ 
lar adjective (W) 118 

/-e/, /-ye/ 

- masculine Class I derived noun 55 
/-ed, edal-/ 

- past tense intransitive verb 214 
/-eg/ 

- present tense intransitive verb 214 
/-in/ 

- derived Class I adjective 151 
/-iz/ 

- derived Class 1 adjective 151 
/-jan/ 

- derived Class I adjective 151 
/-man/ 

- derived Class I adjective 150 
/-ya/ 

- masculine Class III vocative singu¬ 
lar adjective (E) 118 

/-ye/ 

- Class III oblique pluraland feminine 
adjective (M) 122 

/-am/ 

- ordinal numbers 105,144,151 

Ml 

- Class II adjective (M) 122 
/-in/ 

- masculine plural Arabic noun 95 


- /-una/ 

- masculine Class I plural inanimate 
noun 51, 52 

- /-an/ 

- masculine direct singular animate 
adjective 108 

- /-ane/ 

- feminine directsingularanimatead- 
jective 108 

- /-ano/ 

- oblique animate adjective 108 

- /-at/ 

- masculine pluralArabic noun 95 

- /-ama/ 

- first person singular (poetic) 191 

- /-ay/ 

- feminine Class III directsingularnoun 
80 

- /-SI-/ 

- infinitive verb 194 

- optional/prohibited in some past bases 
215 

- past tense transitive verb 214, 254 

- second conjugation infinitive verb 
199 

- /-am/ 

- ordinal numbers (W) 144,151 

- /be-/ 

- derived negative adjective 152 

- /na-/ 

- derived negative adjective 153 

- /wa-/ 

- first conjugation aoristverb 197,204 

- on infinitive in periphrastic passive 
300 

- /-(a)nay/ 

- derived Class Ilia adjective 152 

- /-dar/ 

- derived Class I adjective 151 

- /-gan/, /-an/ 

- masculine Class I pluralanimate noun 
51, 52,55 



488 


Index 


- /-nak/ 

- derived Class I adjective 151 

- /-wal/ 

- derived Class I adjective 151 

- /-wala/ 

- derived Class IV adjective 152 

- /-ay/ 

- derived Class Ilia adjective 152 

- HI 

- derived Class IV adjective 152 
-l-Bl 

- masculine Class II singularordirect 
plural adjective 111 

- adjectival derivational suffixes 152 

- Middle dialect personal endings 194 

- table of derivational noun suffixes 98 

- table of verbal affixes 187 

- verbal prefixes 

- as second-position clitics 209 

- deictic 172,198 

- derivational 191,198 
Allomorphy 

- of adjectives 

- Class 1104,105 

- Class II110, 111 

- of nouns 45, 52 

- Class I 55, 62, 67, 69 

- Class lla 75 

- in Middle dialects 61 
Ambipositions see Adpositions; ambi- 

positions 
Animacy 50 

- grammatical vs. natural 51 

- human vs. nonhuman objects 176 

- in adpositionalconstructionswith /pa/ 

320,356,363 

- of adjectives 

- Class 1109 

- used as nouns 155 

- of nouns 50 

- and gender 45 

- and stem allomorphy 55 


- Class II 73 

- grammatically inanimate 62 

- kinship terms 93 

- switching animacy categories 68 
Aspect 185 

- aorist 

- as subjunctive with present base 252 

- contracted denominal verbs sepa¬ 
rable in 202 

- definition 203 

- first conjugation base 204 

- negative placement in 406 

- no negative imperatives in 260 

- of a-initial verbs 197 

- periphrastic passive in 300 

- position of enclitics 404 

- second conjugation base 209 

- third conjugation base 210 

- aorist optative 263 

- constructions with /pa/ 322 

- continuous 

- contracted vs. uncontracted denom¬ 
inal verbs in 202 

- definition 204 

- continuous optative 261 

- imperfective see Aspect; continuous 

- perfective see Aspect; aorist 

Case 

- ablative 48 

- instrumental usage 48 

- objects of adpositions in 48, 308, 
317 

- of adjectives 103 

- vs. postposition /na/ 363 

- accusative 

- expressed with the oblique 162 

- in Arabic loanwords 387 

- adpositions and 

- case assignment 306 

- in Middle dialects 307 



Index 


489 


- mixed case-marking in adpositional 
objects 311 

- direct 48 

- identical to ablative in feminine nouns 
48 

- in present tense 48 

- in strong pronouns 157 

- objects of adpositions in 309 

- predicative adjectives in 154 

- strong pronouns and 162 

- with intransitive verbs 48 

- ergativity and 448 

- in Middle dialects 48 

- instrumental 

- causative with instrumentalcircum- 
position 441 

- expressed by /pa/ 319 

- oblique 48 

- in objects of adpositional phrases 
334 

- in past tense 48 

- in possessives 163 

- in pronominal phrases 365 

- in strong pronouns 157 

- marking direct object 162 

- objects of adpositions in 48, 307 

- strong pronouns and 162 

- with transitive verbs 48 

- strong pronouns and 162 

- syntax of case-marking 448 

- vocative 49 

- identicalto ablative in masculine nouns 
48 

- of adjectives used as nouns 156 

- particles assigning 375 

- variant forms in Class III adjectives 
118 

- weak pronouns and 166 

- with verbs of sensation 450 
Causation see Verbs; causative 
Circumpositions seeAdpositions; circum- 

positions 


Clauses 

- subordinate see Subordinate clauses 
Comparative see Adjectives; compara¬ 
tive 

Conditionals see Subordinate clauses; 

with /lo/; conditional clauses 
Conjunctions 442 

- coordinating 443 

- /aw/ 'and' 443 

- /bya/ 'then' 446 

- /xo/ 'but' 445 

- /ya/ 'or' 444 

- omission of in conjoined verb phrases 
443 

- correlative 446 

- /ham...aw ham/ 'both...and' 446 

- /ka...no/ 'if...then' 447 

- /na yawaze...balki/ 'not only...but 
also' 446 

- /na...na/ 'neither...nor' 447 

- /ya...ya/ 'either...or' 447 

- exclusive 447 

- inclusive 446 

- subordinating 

- /ca/ see Particles; subordinating; /ca/ 

- compounds with /ca/ 440 
Consonants 

- elegant see Pronunciation; consonants; 

elegant 

Determiners 

- demonstrative 124 

- distal 128 

- medial 127 

- proximal 124 

- indefinite 130 

- quantifiers see Quantifiers 
Dialect 

- about Pashto dialects 31 

- approaches used in this book 34 

- Central 

- adposition /da/ in 312 



490 


Index 


- Eastern 41 

- adposition /da/ in 312 

- Class II adjectives 113 

- Class lllb adjectives 118 

- forms of particle /ca/ 425 

- unreduced strong possessive pro¬ 
nouns 163 

- five-dialect approach 32 

- four-dialect approach 35 

- international differences 36 

- map of dialect regions 32 

- Middle 37 

- a-initial verbs 207 

- adjectives 121 

- adposition /la/ unattested in 316 

- aspectual constructions 322 

- circumposition /wa ... ta/ 326 

- circumpositions 332 

- consonants 39 

- existential constructions 368 

- independent postpositions 329 

- omission of first circumpositional 
component 329, 330 

- pronouns 157 

- vowels 13 

- Waziri metaphony 37, 357 

- Northeast 35 

- elision of weak pronouns 169 

- negative imperatives 258 

- omission of first circumpositional 
component 347, 348 

- Northern 41 

- existential constructions 368 

- omission of first circumpositional 
component 330 

- Northwest 35 

- case marking with /pa/, /par/ 318 

- negative imperatives 258 

- omission of first circumpositional 
component 347, 348 

- soft vs. hard 41 

- Southeast 35 


- Southern 41 

- Southwest 8, 35 

- case marking with /pa/, /par/ 318 

- circumposition /tar... pore/ 323 

- present aorist forms of/kedal/ 236 

- three-dialect approach 42 

- two-dialect approach 40 

- variation 8, 32 

- cardinal numbers 137 

- circumpositional combinations 330 

- independentpostpositions 326,330 

- morphology 32 

- noun class membership 62 

- Western 41 

- Class II adjectives 113 

- Class lllb adjectives 118 

- forms of particle /ca/ 425 

- interrogative particle 417 

- omission of postposition /pori/ 357 

- ordinal numbers 144 

- vowel mutation in Class I adjectives 
104,105 

- vowel mutation in ordinal numbers 
105 

Dictionaries 459 
Distance 

- distal demonstratives 176 

- distal strong pronoun 157 

- medial demonstratives 173 

- proximal demonstratives 172 
Dzadrani see Dialect; Middle 

Echo words see Reduplication 
Emphasis 

- emphatic particle 375 

- marked by strong pronouns 161 
Ergativity 50,186 

- and case 448 

- strong pronouns and 161 

- weak pronouns and 448 

- see also Verbs 
Existential 



Index 


491 


- particle /sta/ 367 

- see also Particles; existential 

- questions 418 

- statements 421 

Gender 

- in strong pronouns 157 

- lack of gender distinction 

- in demonstratives 172 

- in interrogative pronouns 177 

- in number names 133 

- in optative 261 

- in proximal demonstratives 124,126 

- of nouns 45 

- in Class 111 80 

- in conjunctive constructions 97 

- irregular 92 

- loanwords 95 

- plural formation 46 

- see also Nouns; gender 

- of verbs 185 

Humanvs. non-human distinctions see 
Animacy 

Indirect discourse see Reported speech 
Infinitive see Verbs; infinitive 
Instrumental see Case; instrumental 
Interjections see Particles; interjections 
Interrogation 

- adverbial interrogatives 388 

- as indefinites 390 

- affirmation questions 374, 419 

- existential questions 418 

- interrogative adjectives 147 

- interrogative particle /aya/ 417 

- interrogative pronouns 176 

- in temporal clauses 434 

- with interrogative pronouns 418 

- word order 417 
Irrealis 

- counterfactual 

- with subordinatingparticle /ka/ 436 


- future 

- with modal clitic /ba/ 274, 369 

- optative 

- with optative particle /kaske/ 374 

Loanwords 102 

- adjectives derived from 152 

- Arabic 

- adjectives 119 

- adverbs 387 

- interjections 377 

- nouns 95 

- gender assignment 92 

- Hindi/Urdu 

- as dialect signifier 37 

- Persian 

- adjectives 119 

- as dialect signifier 37 
Location 

- adverbs of place 380 

- constructions with /kara/ 361 

- constructions with /pa/, /par/ 318 

- in relative clauses 428 

- locative alternation 413 

Manner 

- adverbs of 382 

- constructions with /pa/ 320 
Modals 

- /kedal/ as modal auxiliary 293 

- as second-position clitics 404 

- constructions with /leka ce/ 325 

- in present aorist constructions 275 
Mood 185 

- imperative 258 

- continuous vs. aorist 260 

- negative 258, 286 

- of to be 229 

- positive commands in present con 
tinuous 284 

- syntax of commands 419 

- usage 283 

- optative 



492 


Index 


- aorist 294 

- continuous 294 

- counterfactual constructions with /kaski/ 
373 

- expressing potential 293 

- lack of PNG distinction in 261 

- particle /kaske/ 261, 373 

Negative 

- adjectives 

- derived with /be-/152 

- derived with /na-/153 

- aorist phrases 406 

- correlative conjunctions 446 

- existential 367 

- future tense 407 

- infixation in 409 

- imperative 258 

- only in continuous aspect 260 

- with particle /ma/ 286 

- indefinite pronouns 181, 390 

- of perfect constructions 291 

- of potential constructions 298 

- particles 404 

- /ma/ 258, 420 

- /ma/ 286 

- /na/404 

- /na sta/ 367 

- present tense 272 

- quantifiers 132 

- with /zidi/153 

Nominalization see Nouns; deverbal 
Nouns 45 

- abstract 46 

- adjectives as 155 

- inflection of 79 

- animacy 50 

- and gender 45 

- and stem allomorphy 55 

- Class I nouns 55 

- of grammatically inanimate nouns 
62 


- of kinship terms 93 

- switching animacy categories 68 

- Class 1 52 

- animate 55 

- derived feminine nouns 71 

- derived masculine nouns 55 

- feminine nouns 67 

- inanimate 62 

- inflected as Class II 64 

- kinship terms in /a/ 62 

- overlap with Class lib 79 

- plural formation 55 

- professional titles 55, 61 

- sample paradigms: feminine animate 
67 

- sample paradigms: feminine inani¬ 
mate 70 

- sample paradigms: masculine ani¬ 
mate 55 

- sample paradigms: masculine inan¬ 
imate 62 

- sample paradigms: Middle dialects 
61, 64, 71 

- stem allomorphy in 55, 62, 67, 69 

- switching animacy categories 68 

- Class II 73 

- alternate inflection of Class I nouns 
64 

- animacy of 73 

- gender of 73 

- lla 73, 75 
-lib 73, 79 

- in Middle dialects 73 

- sample paradigms: class lla 75 

- sample paradigms: class lib 79 

- stem allomorphy: class lla 75 

- stem allomorphy: class lib 79 

- Class III 80 

- gender of 80 

- Ilia 84 

- Ilia: ethnic denominations 84 

- Ilia: feminine 85 



Index 


493 


- Illb 87 

- Illb: feminine 88 

- Illb: masculine 84, 87 

- in Middle dialects 89 

- sample paradigms: lllafeminine 85 
-sample paradigms: Ilia masculine 

84 

- sample paradigms: lllbfeminine 88 

- sample paradigms: Illb masculine 
87 

- sample paradigms: Middle dialects 
89 

- stress 80, 89 
collective see Nouns; mass 
compound 101 
derivation of 98 

- by compounding 101 

- by suffixes 98 

- feminine nouns in /a/, /a/ 71 

- from adjectives 155 

- masculine nouns in /-e/, /-ye/ 55 

- switching animacy categories 68 
deverbal 313 

formation of 

- deverbal 313 

- feminine nouns in /a/, /a/ 67 
gender 45 

- in Class II 73 

- in Class III 80 

- of abstract nouns 46 

- of derived nouns 55 

- of irregular nouns 92 

- of loanwords 95 

- plural formation 46 
governing relative clauses 428 
in conjunctive constructions 97 
infinitives as 194, 300 
inflection 45 

irregular 92 

- in Middle dialects 71 
kinship terms 93 

- Class I in /a/ 62 


- loanwords 

- class and gender assignment 92 

- from Arabic 95 

- mass 46 

- interrogative adjectives specifying 
148 

- noun classes 51 

- dialectal variation in class member¬ 
ship 62, 92 

- of irregular nouns 92 

- number of 46 

- quantifiers as 130 

- reduplication 101 

- stem allomorphy in 45, 52 

- in Middle dialects 61 

- subordinate noun clauses 429 

- used for reported speech 432 

- syntax of noun phrases 399 

- verbs derived from 200 

- contracted vs. uncontracted denom- 
inal verbs 201 

Number 

- in loanwords 95 

- lack of number distinction 

- in demonstratives 172 

- in interrogative pronouns 177 

- in optative 261 

- in proximal demonstratives 124 

- in weak pronouns 164 

- of nouns 46 

- Arabic loanwords 95 

- irregular plural forms 92 

- mass nouns 46 

- of verbs 185 
Number names 132 

- /yaw/ as indefinite determiner 130 

- cardinal 133 

- counting 137 

- in Middle dialects 136 

- inventory 137 

- morphology 133 

- reduplication of 146 



494 


Index 


- in time expressions with /pa/, /per/ 

322 

- ordinal 144 

- declined like Class I adjectives 105 

- in Middle dialects 146 

Orthography see Spelling 

Participles 185, 246 

- agreement of 265 

- aorist 249 

- in future perfect tense 289 

- in past perfect tense 290 

- verbs using 249 

- as adjectives 116 

- declension of 246 

- past 247 

- as adjectives 247 

- irregular forms 249 

- present 246 

- as adjectives 246 

- as noun modifiers 303 
Particles 367 

- adverbial 

- /no/404 
-/xo/404 

- as second-position clitics 404 

- affirmative 

- /ka na/ 374, 419 

- deictoids 169 

- deictic prefixes 172,198 

- directional verbal clitics 171 

- oblique pronominal clitics 170,365 

- emphatic 

- /xo/375 

- enclitics 403 

- in Middle dialects 405 

- existential 

- /na sta/ 367 

- /sta/ 367, 418 

- future 

-/ba/ 274,275, 369, 403 


- in separable verb constructions see Par¬ 

ticles; enclitics 

- interjections 376 

- Arabic loanwords 377 

- onomatopoetic 376 

- to call animals 376 

- to express emotion 376 

- interrogative 

- /aya/ 417 

- modal 369 

- /bayad/ 373 

- /de/ 372,403 

- /sayi/ 373 

- see also Particles; future; /ba/ 

- negative 

- /ma/ 258, 404, 420 

- /ma/286 

- /na/ 404 

- /na sta/ 367 

- optative 

- /kaski/ 373 

- /kaske/ 261 

- pronominal see Pronouns, weak 

- second-position clitics 404 

- modal clitic /ba/ 369 

- verbal prefixes 209 

- weak pronouns 166 

- subordinating 

- /ka/ 435, 436 

- /no/438 

- /pa de ca/ 439 

- /wale ca/ 439 

- /ce/325 

- /ca/ 181, 425 

- /cfeaka 436 

- vocative 375 

- weak personal pronouns 403 

- word order 424 

- dialectal variation 258 

- in Middle dialects 406 

- in separable verb constructions 404 
Pashto 



Index 


495 


- about 7 

- dialects 8 

- see also Dialect 

- history 8 

- phonology 8 

- speakers 7 

- variation 8 
Passive 414 

- adpositional constructions 

- with /da... la lure/ 345 

- with /da... la xw/a 343 

- periphrastic with infinitive 212 

- as third conjugation verb 212 
Person 

- lack of person distinction 

- in optative 261 

- in weak pronouns 164 

- of verbs 185,191 
Phonology 9 

- dialectal variation 8, 32 

- Class II adjectives 113 

- consonants in Middle dialects 39 

- glide insertion 207 

- lenition of possessive /da/163 

- Waziri metaphony 37 

- of denominal verbs 201 

- vowel variation in deictoids 170 

- see also Allomorphy 

- see also Pronunciation 
Plurality see Number 
Possession 

- constructions with strong pronouns 

163 

- constructions with weak pronouns 168 

- in conditions of coreference 182 

- in interrogatives 178 

- with /da/ 313 

Postpositions seeAdpositions; postpo¬ 
sitions 

Prepositions seeAdpositions; preposi¬ 
tions 

Pro-drop 161 


Pronouns 157 

- coreferential 181 

- /xpal/182 

- vs. possessive 181 

- demonstrative 172 

- as dummy subject 430 

- distinguished from distalstrongpro- 
noun157 

- proximal 172 

- vs. determiners 172 

- in conjunctive constructions 443 

- indefinite see Pronouns; interrogative; 

as indefinites 

- indexical vs. anaphoric 160 

- interrogative 176 

- as adverbials 388 

- as indefinites 179, 390 

- as relatives 181 

- human 176 

- in temporal clauses 434 

- non-human 178 

- possessive 178 

- omission of 161 

- ergativity and 448 

- in adpositional phrases 364 

- see also Pro-drop 

- overview 157 

- personal see Pronouns; strong 

- reciprocal 184 

- vs. adpositional constructions 385 

- relative 181 

- interrogative pronouns as 181 

- subordinating particle /ca/ 425 

- resumptive 426 

- in relative clauses 427 

- strong 157 

- agreement 161 

- as emphatics 161 

- distal 157 

- fusion with /da/ 313, 363 

- in past tense 161 

- in present tense 161 



496 


Index 


- in relative clauses 426 

- possessive 163, 313 

- replacing verbal enclitic 405 

- vs. demonstratives 160 

- with intransitive verbs 161 

- weak 164 

- agreement 166 

- as second-position clitics 166 

- in past tense 166 

- in possessive constructions 168 

- in present tense 166 

- in separable verb constructions 403 

- lack of case distinction in 166 

- not allowed as objects of ad positions 
167 

- omission of 166 

- person and number syncretism in 
164 

- position in sentence 411 

- see also Particles; enclitics 

- resumptive pronouns 426 

- see also Pronouns; resumptive 

- sentential stress and 166 

- with intransitive verbs 166 

- with transitive verbs 166, 422 

- word order 404, 421 
Pronunciation 37 

- consonants 9 

- elegant 9 

- in Middle dialects 39 

- vowels 11 

- dialectal variation 32 

- elegant 13 

- in Middle dialects 13 

- Waziri metaphony 37 

- see also Phonology 
Prosody see Stress 

Purpose see Subordinate clauses; with 
/ca/; purpose clauses 

Quantifiers 130 

- as determiners 131 


- as nouns 130 

Reduplication 

- echo words 393 

- full vs. partial 393 

- in interjections 

- onomatopoetic 376 

- to call animals 376 

- of adjectives 153 

- of adverbs 392 

- of coreferential pronoun /xpal/182 

- of interrogatives 390 

- of nouns 101 

- of number names 146 

Relative clauses see Subordinate clauses; 
with /ca/; relative clauses 

- /ca/ + interrogative 181 
Reported speech 432 

Script 15 

- representation of vowels 25 
Spelling 1,15 

- international differences 36 

- Pashto-specific letters 16 

- transcription 28 

- table of characters 18 

- variation 29 

Split ergativity see Ergativity 
Stem allomorphy see Allomorphy 
Stress 15 

- sentential 

- and weak pronouns 166 

- negative aorist phrases 406 

- with future particle /ba/ 370 

- word 

- Class I and Class II adjectives 103 

- Class III nouns 89 

- Class Ilia adjectives 116 

- Class lllb adjectives 118 

- Class IV adjectives 119 

- demonstrative determiners 124,126 

- demonstratives 172 

- in deictoids 170 



Index 


497 


- negatives 272 

- second conjugation aorist base 209, 
217 

- strong pronouns vs. demonstratives 
160 

- third conjugation aorist base 210 

- verbal group 404 

- with directional verbal clitics 171 

- with oblique pronominal clitics 170 
Subordinate clauses 425 

- with /ka/ 

- conditional clauses 435 

- irrealis clauses 275 

- with /no/ 

- result clauses 438 

- with /ca/ 425 

- adverbial clauses 438 

- irrealis clauses 275 

- noun clauses 429 

- othersubordinatingconjunctions 440 

- purpose clauses 439 

- relative clauses 181, 425, 427 

- reported speech 432 

- temporal clauses 434 

- word order 437 

- with /cfeaka/ 

- reason, cause, and result clauses 
436 

- see also Particles; subordinating 
Superlative see Adjectives; comparative 
Syntax 

- adpositional phrases 424 

- agreement 448 

- commands 419 

- conjunction 442 

- noun phrases 399 

- passive clauses 414 

- sentence types 410 

- subordinate clauses 425 

- see also Subordinate clauses 

- verb phrases 401 


Tense 185 

- and case-marking 448 

- future 

- expressing potential 295 

- negative 407 

- with particle /ba/ 275 

- with present aorist + /ba/ 275 

- with presentcontinuous + /ba/ 273 

- future perfect 289 

- past 

- /-al-/ in past bases 215 

- ergativity and 50 

- expressing potential in 294 

- oblique case and 48 

- oblique case in 48 

- strong pronouns in 161 

- weak pronouns in 166 

- past aorist 256 

- usage 281 

- past continuous 254 

- usage 279 

- past perfect 267, 290 

- past potential 268 

- perfect constructions 

- future perfect 289 

- negatives in 291 

- past perfect 290 

- present perfect 287 

- present 

- direct case in 48 

- ergativity and 50 

- expressing potential in 293 

- strong pronouns in 161 

- weak pronouns in 166 

- present aorist 

- expressing obligation with 373 

- in imperatives 229 

- irrealis constructions in 274 

- polite requests in 373 

- usage 274 

- with purpose clauses 440 

- present continuous 249 



498 


Index 


- in imperatives 284 

- usage 270 

- present perfect 265, 287 

- present potential 268 
Time 

- adverbs of 378 

- constructions with /pa/, /par/ 320 

- subordinate clauses of 434 
Transcription see Spelling; transcription 
Transitivity see Verbs 

Verbs 185 

- /biwal/ 

- table of bases 221 

- /ixodal/ 

- table of bases 221 

- /kawal/ 

- as independent verb 204 

- as verbalizer 200, 228, 229 

- forms of 239 

- in light verb constructions 401 

- table of bases 220 

- tables of bases in Middle dialects 
220 

- /kedat/ 

- in light verb constructions 401 

- /kedal/ 

- as independent verb 204 

- as verbalizer 200, 228, 229 

- expressing potential 293 

- forms of 234 

- in periphrastic passive 212 

- table of bases 222 

- tables of bases in Middle dialects 
223 

- /ratlal/ 

- table of bases 222 

- /tlal/ 

- table of bases 222 

- /wral/ 

- table of bases 221 

- agreement of 


- in perfect constructions 287 

- with conjoined subjects 97, 444 

- with subordinate noun clauses 430 

- aorist see Aspect; aorist 

- auxiliary 200 

- to be see Verbs; to be 

- see also Verbs, verbalizers 

- base 186 

- base vs. stem 214 

- first conjugation 204 

- formation from stem 215 

- of a-inital verbs 204 

- of weak verbs 215 

- second conjugation 209 

- third conjugation 210 

- types of verbal base 214 

- causative 227 

- /ar istal/ 441 

- /constructions with /pa 320 

- constructions with /pa/ 356, 363 

- periphrastic constructions 440 

- vs. contracted denominals 203 

- classification 186 

- a-initial 204 

- conjugation classes 203 

- complex 

- a-initial 196, 204 

- definition 196 

- denominal 200 

- see also Verbs; denominal 

- in negative future tense 409 

- prefixed 198, 209 

- compound 228, 265 

- future perfect 289 

- negatives in 291 

- past perfect 267, 290 

- past potential 268 

- potential 293 

- potential constructions 267 

- present perfect 265, 287 

- present potential 268 

- conjoined verb phrases 443 



Index 


499 


continuous see Aspect; continuous 
denominal 200 

- adjective agreement in 202 

- and word order 412 

- aspect of 202 

- contracted 200 

- in first conjugation 210 

- in imperative constructions 202 

- lexicalization of 201 

- negation of 409 

- of sensation 450 

- omission of light verb in aorist op¬ 
tative 263 

- periphrastic passive 212 

- phonology of 201 

- uncontracted 200 

- with adjective complements 201 

- with conjoined objects 149 

- with enclitics 405 
derivation of 186 

- a-initial 196 

- denominal 200 

- from denominal constructions 200 

- from nouns or adjectives 200 

- light verb constructions 401 

- prefixed verbs 198 
first conjugation 196, 204 

- a-initial 197, 204 

- causatives 227 

- formation of aorist base 204 

- in Middle dialects 207 

- with enclitics 404 

- see also Verbs; complex; a-initial 
imperative see Mood; imperative, see 

Mood; imperative 
infinitive 185,194 

- as citation form 190 

- as nouns 300 

- as objects of adpositions 306 

- formation of 194 

- in periphrastic passive 212 

- inflected 300 


- intransitive 

- denominal 263 

- direct case and 48 

- ergativity and 50 

- formation of denominal 200 

- predicative adjectives and 154 

- strong pronouns and 161 

- weak pronouns and 166 

- irregular 

- past participles 249 

- to be 229 

- light verb constructions 401 

- agreement in 403 

- denominal 200 

- middle voice constructions 453 

- of preference 452 

- of sensation 450 

- participles see Participles 

- passive see Passive 

- personal endings 191 

- root see Verbs; base 

- second conjugation 196, 209 

- prefixed 198 

- with enclitics 404 

- see also Verbs; complex; prefixed 

- simple verb constructions 

- aorist optative 263 

- continuous optative 261 

- imperative continuous 258 

- past aorist 256 

- past continuous 254 

- present aorist 252 

- present continuous 249 

- simplex 196 

- stem 

- multi-stem verbs 219 

- one-stem verbs 215 

- stem classes 212 

- stem vs. base 214 

- strong vs. weak verbs 212 

- table of stem shapes 190 

- two-stem verbs 218 



500 


Index 


- strong 

- base formation 218, 219 

- list of 224 

- multi-stem 219 

- tables of multi-stem verbs 220 

- two-stem 218 

- structure of 187 

- subjunctive 252 

- present aorist as 252, 374 

- see also Irrealis 

- syntax of noun phrases 401 

- third conjugation 196, 210 

- see also Verbs; denominal 

- to be 228, 229 

- as copula 269 

- imperative 229 

- in existential statements 421 

- in Middle dialects 229 

- past continuous 269 

- present aorist 275 

- present continuous 269 

- transitive 

- ergativity and 50 

- formation of denominal 200 

- locative alternation in three-argument 
predicates 413 

- past tense 48 

- strong pronouns and 161 

- verbalizers 234 

- weak pronouns and 166 

- unergative 453 

- verbalizers 200 

- /kawal/ 228, 229, 239 

- /kedal/ 228, 229, 234 

- aorist participles of 249 

- transitive 234 

- weak 215 
Vowels 

- elegant see Pronunciation; vowels; el¬ 

egant 


Word order 

- denominal verbs and 412 

- in conjunctive constructions 443 

- in existential constructions 367 

- in imperatives 419 

- in negatives 420 

- negative aorist phrases 406 

- negative future 407 

- in noun phrases 399 

- in questions 177, 417 

- in statements 411 

- ditransitive 413 

- with multiple pronouns 421 

- in verb phrases 401 

- locative alternation 413 

- of /da/ clauses 424 

- of adpositional phrases 400 

- of particles 424 

- in separable verb constructions 404 

- of relative clauses 426 

- of subject and object 48 

- of weak pronouns 166 

- Pashto as verb-final language 410 

- second-position clitics 166, 404 

- subordinate clauses 425, 437 

- weak pronouns and 421 


Waziri see Dialect; Middle